Monday, June 28, 2010

North Korea's Kim Jong-il 'showing signs of dementia'

Chosun Ilbo reports Kim Jong-il has been displaying signs of memory loss and occasionally talks nonsense, based on National Intelligence Service chief Won Sei-hoon apparently telling the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee in a closed-door meeting. "Kim has been exhibiting memory loss and saying things that do not make sense during his field visits," Won was quoted by lawmakers as saying.

According to the NIS, Kim said during a recent field inspection at a potato farm, "People should not live on potatoes alone. They need to have rice, too. We should send them rice." The NIS attributes Kim's odd comments to the aftereffects of his stroke. South Korean intelligence officials said North Korean officials are worried about Kim's deteriorating condition.

NIS officials apparently showed lawmakers photos of Kim's swollen left hand, which has been paralyzed since the stroke. The North Korean leader is undergoing therapy and has asked foreign specialists to the country.

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