Kim Jong Il on Death Bed, Yet AgainOctober 29, 2008
Kim Jong-il, known as both the autocratic leader of North Korea, and a fashion icon to millions in New Jersey, has reportedly fallen very Jong-ill. It has been reported through multiple channels that he had brain surgery to repair damage done by a stroke in August. The report comes from the print edition of Dong-a Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper.
The report cites a South Korean intelligence officer who disclosed that intelligence reports emerged Sunday (Oct. 26) regarding Kim Jong-il’s sudden ‘serious health problem’. The brain surgery that was performed after Jong-il’s August stroke had been reported as being performed by Francois-Xavier Roux, a neurosurgeon from France. Roux is considered an extremely competent, if not world class surgeon, who has denied the reports linking him to the surgery. Roux claims that during that time he coincidentally traveled to Beijing to attend a conference. All video and photos released recently seem to show Kim Jong-il attending functions months ago, further raising the speculation that the sunglasses-wearing man-god is in a dire situation.
Kim Jong-il’s oldest son, Kim Jong-nam, was thought to be next in line for the role of fashion god dictator, although no public declarations were made to that effect, and now he appears out of the direct line of inheritance. After a 2001 arrest and detention by the Japanese, Jong-nam may be somewhat out of favor, and Kim Jong-chol, a younger son, may be in line for the gig. Jong-chol was appointed to a high office within the Workers’ Party in 2007, making it a reasonable conclusion that he’s the next in line.
North Korea is denying the report, which, if their other denials are any indication, means that this is absolutely true. Sunglasses manufacturers are bracing for a possible economic downturn within their industry upon hearing the news, as Kim Jong-il is thought to provide at least four percent to the sunglasses industry’s revenues every year. If Kim Jong-chul begins to wear
sunglasses like his father and brother, they expect serious profit potential, considering he’ll have to build his collection from scratch.
If Kim Jong-il dies, there could be some wrangling within the ranks of the Workers’ Party to see who becomes the leader of North Korea, and a violent solution between the brothers is not out of the question. Jong-nam may feel resentment for his lack of favor stemming from his attempts to travel into Japan under a false name and passport. Jong-nam’s mother, Ko Young-hee, is Jong-il’s latest consort, and thus may confer more power to Jong-chul. If Jong-nam and Jong-chul do come to a power struggle, expect Jong-chul to have more party support.