Report: North Korean leader alive but ill

SEOUL, South Korea - September 9, 2008 - The Yonhap news agency cited an unidentified South Korean government official as saying Wednesday that Kim appeared to have suffered a collapse, a term in Korean normally used to indicate a grave illness such as a stroke. However, the official said Kim is definitely still alive.

Kim did not appear at a parade Tuesday commemorating North Korea's founding 60 years ago, intensifying speculation that he may be seriously ill.

Western intelligence officials said Kim's failure to appear at the key national event may indicate that he is seriously ill and could even have had a stroke, though they cautioned that this had not been independently confirmed.

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