Extra! Korea

June 10, 2009

Did Kim Jong-il collapse again in early May?

Filed under: Kim Jong-il, North Korea — extrakorea @ 9:03 am

Some reports say that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il collapsed again in early May, which may have been the reason for bringing forward the nuclear test and haste to ensure the succession, AERA said. The weekly quoted intelligence officials as saying Kim is now too frail to work even for an hour a day.

(source)

A blogger seems to believe that Kim Jong-il might be around for a long time, citing the example of Kirk Douglas as someone who can remain alive and sort-of-well long after having a stroke. I would disagree. Kirk Douglas has always taken very good care of himself. (Check out his bodybuilder’s physique in the movie Spartacus.) All of those years of keeping himself in good health were a long-term investment that ultimately paid dividends. On the other hand, Kim Jong-il is a pot-bellied diabetic who eats live seafood and drinks cognac and other kinds of hard liquor until he passes out in the wee hours of the morning. Someone like that can’t make the same kind of long-term recovery from a stroke that Kirk Douglas did.

And here’s some proof that humanitarian aid goes directly to North Korea’s military.

“During the 10 years of the left-leaning Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations, nearly 1 trillion yen (approximately W13 trillion) including investment from civilian enterprises went to North Korea,” the weekly said. “Since the Lee Myung-bak administration’s inauguration, South Korea has become tight with money, and this has dealt a severe blow to the North Korean military.”

2 Comments »

  1. Good point. One look at Kirk Douglas now and it’s still clear that he was an athlete in his youth. Kim Jong il, on the other hand…Well, the best the North Korean propaganda machine could come up with was that Kim Jong il supposedly hit a lot of holes in one at golf. It’s certainly not as impressive as the story of Peter the Great killing a bear with his bare hands.

    Comment by Teadrinker — June 11, 2009 @ 1:58 am

  2. Extra Korea wrote:

    A blogger seems to believe that Kim Jong-il might be around for a long time, citing the example of Kirk Douglas as someone who can remain alive and sort-of-well long after having a stroke. I would disagree. Kirk Douglas has always taken very good care of himself

    .Hey, now, that’s not quite what I meant.

    I was commenting on the bit from PBS that KJI’s weakness at the Supreme People’s Assembly indicated he was in bad shape, to suggest his end is imminent.

    Strokes are, unfortunately, a genetic risk in my brood, so I know some stuff first hand. People who haven’t gone through this with someone close mistake the post-stroke physical condition as symptoms of some underlying disease, much like cancer or heart disease.

    The brain is attacked, part of it may even die, which severs connections between brain and body. But a person’s physical recovery may be masked by apparent physical difficulties. For example, a person may survive the stroke but they may endure loss of usage of speaking or some motor function, even though they’re basically out of the woods. To someone not in the know, the limp, the frailty, the loss of movement on one side, the slurred speech, etc., may seem like an on-going underlying problem that points to demise.

    But that’s not the case. When you’re out of the woods with the stroke, you’re out of the woods with that stroke. What you’re in danger of is the next stroke. This is what I wrote:

    If you have survived a stroke (and KJI apparently has), then your risk of stroke is from the next one, not the previous one. The Dear Leader is no doubt on a whole bunch of medicines designed to keep the blood pumped by his cold, black heart as close to the perfect viscosity as possible to keep him from having another one. KJI, in fact, may be around for a long, long time.

    KJI’s apparent bad habits (heavy drinking, etc.) may have impaired his odds of surviving last year’s stroke, but in the end, he survived. KJI’s apparent bad habits may also make another stroke more likely, but almost certainly he is being carefully monitored, in a way other fat boozers are not.

    I’m not saying he will live as long as Kirk Douglas (who is still alive, of course), only that it’s foolish to assume his weak condition is a sign of impending death. He is out of the woods from his last stroke. It’s the next stroke, if/when it happens, that may signal his demise.

    Comment by kushibo — June 17, 2009 @ 1:15 am


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