North Korea issued an emergency order to its overseas diplomats to be ready for an “important announcement,” allegedly related to the health of the Stalinist country’s leader Kim Jong-il, a Japanese newspaper said Saturday.
Citing a well-placed source, Yomiuri Shimbun said the North Korean regime told its overseas diplomats to refrain from travel and stay in the same place.
This anonymous source said North Korea is likely to make an “important announcement” in the coming few days, which is likely to be related to Kim’s health or something about the inter-Korean relationship.
Commenting on the report, a National Intelligence Service spokesman said the intelligence agency is in the process of confirming it but declined to elaborate further, according to Yonhap News.
After Kim Jong-il’s “visible” absence from the Sept. 9 ceremony that marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the country, both intelligence and speculations surrounding Kim’s health have run amok. The South Korean government said Kim had a brain surgery in mid-August.
Pyongyang released photos of Kim inspecting a military facility in an apparent move to quench the thirsty international media hound. North Korea fears that such news on the dire health of its leader, once leaked to its people, might destabilize the communist country.
Meanwhile, some claimed that the photos of Kim may have been taken earlier, leading to speculation that Kim may be in a state of partial paralysis.