[imText1]It was known that Kim Jong Il received Percuteneous Transarterial Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA), a heart malady treatment by German doctors.
Early last May, Japanese weekly “Shukan Gendai” reported that Kim Jong Il suffered from a myocardial infraction and received a “percutaneous transluminal coronary recanalization bypass” surgery at the Kim Man Yoo Hospital in Pyongyang. “Bonghwa Treatment Center, through the Kim Jong Il family, is in charge of treating top North Korean officials and of course, the Kim Jong Il family, but due to the lack of surgical equipment in the ancient city, surgeries related to heart diseases are treated at the Kim Man Yoo Hospital, which has the top of the line materials and technology from Germany,” reported ” Shukan Gendai.”
However, upon inspecting the hospital system where the ranking system is actively used, there is possibility that he received treatment from the Bongwa Treatment Center, not at the Kim Man Yoo hospital. At the Bongwa Treatment center, “the top treatment facility,” for use by Kim Jong Il, can be found.
Lee Young Kook’s (45), a former guard of Kim Jong Il who defected to South Korea, memoir “I was Kim Jong Il’s guard” (Zeitgeist) introduces in detail North Korea’s hospital ranking system. According to the book, North Korea divides the civilians into 10 ranks by class and implements a “hospital ranking system” which treats members of each rank separately.
The place where North Korea’s top-level officials, including Kim Jong Il, receive treatment is the Bongwa Treatment Center, located in Shinwon-dong in Botong River-district. It is a hospital where heads of government (general-level) and the Party Committee chiefs’ immediate family members are treated. The Bongwa Treatment Center has a general department and a special department. The general department treats the medical needs of chief-level leaders and the special department treats Party Political National Committee Members, committee member candidates, Central Party Committee Secretary, and Vice-Premier of the Cabinet and above.
The reason for the high possibility of Kim Jong Il receiving treatment at the Bongwa Treatment Center is that this hospital has a “Number 1 treatment center,” which treats Kim Jong Il and his relatives. It is known that the treatment center is known to be overseen 24 hours by the Ministry of Security, which is in charge of Kim Jong Il’s security.
The hospital, which is ranked second, is the Namsan Treatment Center, which is adjacent to the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital in Daedong River-district, Munsu-dong in Pyongyang. It also oversees the Assistant-Chief (Vice Minister) of the Cabinet and the Central Party Committee’s Vice-Head, Lieutenants General of the People’s Army, and the immediate family of Foreign Ambassadorial Talks’ dispatched delegates. The resident diplomat in Pyongyang also receives treatment at this hospital
The third-ranked hospital is the Pyongyang Medical College Hospital and the Chosun (North Korea) Red Cross Central Hospital. The treatment departments of this hospital are in charge of Central Party Committee’s Department Head, Assistant Department Head, and the immediate family of the Cabinet’s middle management.
Hospitals ranked immediately below are the Kim Man Yoo Hospital and Pyongyang’s No. 1 Hospital. The members of the Central Party Committee and superintendents, the department chiefs, and their families can be seen at this hospital. If the rank of Kim Man Yoo Hospital, which “Shukan Gendai” reported as the place where Kim Jong Il received his surgery, is to be classified, then it would fall into the 4th rank.
Besides this, there is the No. 2 Treatment Center and the Staff Treatment Center, which treats the members of the People’s Army and their families. Average laborers and farmers receive treatment at the factory treatment centers or at the dong (neighborhood) or li (village) treatment centers.
North Korea is a society, which absolutely protects the safety of Kim Jong Il. It has not clearly revealed whether or not Kim Jong Il received surgery, what kind of a surgery he had, and where he received it. Subsequently, one cannot exclude the possibility of him having received surgery, not at a hospital, but at the Workers’ Party’s office building, which is located at Kim Jong Il’s oval office, at a mansion located in Pyongyang City, or at a third location.