Talks of Kim Jong Il's Dementia

U.S. and British intelligence sources in the midst of investigations
Yang Jung A  |  2007-09-20 10:36
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When the U.S. government received intelligence that Kim Jong Il is showing signs of beginning stages of dementia, they attempted verify and analyze the information.

A leading Japanese source disclosed to DailyNK on the 19th that it has confirmed the news through a U.S. high-level official on the 14th.

According to the source, "The U.S. official obtained intelligence that Kim Jong Il is suffering from symptom of dementia since a year ago. Such news is a top-secret subject which only the most important figures in North Korea's seat of power know."

However, the source relayed, "The U.S. official said, they do not currently know whether Kim Jong Il's symptom is Alzheimer or senile dementia."

The U.S. government official also said, "Due to this, there have incrementally been negative effects on affairs of the state in North Korea. Kim Jong Il's personal secretary (Workers’ Party's Office of the Clerk) is closely guarding Kim Jong Il's administrative operations."

Kim Jong Il is known to have made national policy decisions by reading reports submitted from each department and ratifying them. This is called a ratification, or proposal politics, but due to the fall in Kim Jong Il's judgment, ratification of some official documents has been vicariously carried out at the Office of the Clerk.

The official particularly explained, "The head of the secretary Kang Sang Chun and other officials close to Kim Jong Il have begun to take part in the national decision-making process. His health is not so poor that he cannot go onsite inspections. but we do not know what he will say and cannot control what kind of strange behaviors he will display, thus the secretaries are concerned about it."

Kim Jong Il's clerk office, in contrast with the Presidential Secretary's office in South Korea, only provides counsel regarding Kim Jong Il's private circumstances and life, but does not give political advice.

The dementia, due to the damage to cerebral nerve cells, results in a rapid loss of memories, will power, and intelligence, and refers to a situation where normal mental ability is lost. There are 70 kinds of dementia disorders, but Alzheimer's and vascular dementia are the representative ones. Where Kim Jong Il's symptoms fall has not been identified yet.

An anonymous Japanese media who obtained such news in advance was known to entrust on the U.S. and British intelligence offices with the verification of the fact.

The source relayed, "The intelligence officers in the U.S. and British have identified that there is a problem with Kim Jong Il's mental state; only, they have replied that they are investigating the extent of the seriousness and what kind of a problem it is."

The source also expressed, "Kim Jong Il will be able to lead the Inter-Korea Summit Talks which will be held between October 2~4, but his surrounding officers are concerned that he will slip or portray an anxious image."

According to the U.S. official, the South Korean government also received a dispatch from the U.S. that Kim Jong Il suffers from dementia. However, after DailyNK's confirmation with South Korean intelligence sources on the 19th, a source replied, "Currently, we have not procured information related to Kim Jong Il's dementia."

The last foreign figure Kim Jong Il met (on July 3rd) is China's Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi. At the time, Foreign Minister Yang relayed China's position regarding the North Korean nuclear issue as well as messages by Chairman Hu Jintao to Kim Jong Il.
 
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