Extra! Korea

July 7, 2010

More evidence of Kim Jong-il’s dementia? Or a clever ruse?

Filed under: Kim Jong-il, North Korea — extrakorea @ 7:51 am

I’ve posted before about how there is speculation that Kim Jong-il may be suffering from dementia. Now comes word that he watched the same play in less than two weeks, and then ordered the theater, which is in good condition due to it being renovated seven years ago, to be demolished and rebuilt.

The theater was torn down on May 9 just after Kim watched a play there, making his first public appearance since his visit to China early that month. Kim had apparently watched another performance of the same play there on April 27 and after his second visit had enough and ordered it rebuilt.

“It’s strange enough to watch the same play twice in less than two weeks, but it’s even more absurd to order the reconstruction of a building that was renovated just seven years ago,” said a South Korean intelligence official.

However, we should be cautious:

But other experts advise caution. “North Korea has gauged the level of South Korea’s intelligence gathering abilities by monitoring media reports from the South and other countries about Kim Jong-il’s health,” said Sogang University Professor Kim Young-soo. “We need to be more discerning even when it comes to signs pointing to dementia.”

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