Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

E. Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call to return home

Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

Kim Jong-il attended football match, says state press agency

Latest update : 2008-10-04

North Korean state media report that Kim Jong-il made his first public appearance at a football match on Saturday after US and South Korean reports said he may have suffered from a stroke last month.

SEOUL, Oct 4 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il,
thought to have suffered a stroke in August, made his first
appearance in about 50 days, the state's media said on Saturday.
 

Last month, U.S. and South Korean officials said Kim, 66,
may have suffered a stroke in August, raising questions about
leadership in Asia's only communist dynasty as Pyongyang backed
away from an international nuclear disarmament-for-aid deal.
 

North Korea's official media said Kim saw a soccer match
between two universities. The last report of a public appearance
by Kim was in mid-August when state media said he visited a
military unit.
 

"After watching the match, leader Kim Jong-il congratulated
the players on their good results, saying that the revolutionary
and militant students in our country are good at art and
sporting activities," the North's KCNA news agency reported.
 

Kim's reappearance came as the secretive state finished
talks with a U.S. nuclear envoy who went to Pyongyang this week
trying to save a disarmament deal and prevent the North from
restarting its nuclear plant that makes bomb-grade plutonium.
 


 

CONSPICUOUS ABSENCE
 

Kim was conspicuously absent from a military parade on Sept.
9 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.
He appeared at ceremonies to mark the 50th and 55th
anniversaries of the state founded by his father Kim Il-sung.
 

Kim Jong-il, known as "Dear Leader", inherited control in
1994 on the death of his father. Kim Jong-il had been groomed
for years to take control. He has three known sons, but has not
made any apparent moves to name any of them as his successor.
 

Under Kim's rule, the North's economy shrank and the country
suffered a famine in the 1990s that killed about 1 million
people in the country of 23 million. The North also conducted
its first and only nuclear test in October 2006.
 

On Thursday, an official newspaper referred to Kim's health
for the first time since the reports of his stroke, saying he
had a tiring summer inspecting all parts of his country.
 

"While everyone else in the world is busy vacationing, we
saw a flow of news sent into the universe on Kim's endless
on-site inspections through a long and rough journey," it said.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)

Date created : 2008-10-04

COMMENT(S)