October 30, 2008 08:35
A French doctor believed to have been contacted by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son before embarking on a trip to Pyongyang has denied the mission and says he is in Beijing. He was identified as Francois-Xavier Roux (57), head of neurosurgery at Paris' Sainte-Anne Hospital.
French weekly Le Point identified Roux as the doctor who left Paris last week and visited North Korea in August. It said Roux is a top French expert on brain tumors, with a specialty in laser surgery.
As a member of Médecins Sans Frontières (doctors without borders), an international humanitarian organization, he has been engaged in volunteer activities in Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Afghanistan He is reportedly a close friend of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, another former member of MSF.
But on Tuesday, he told AFP he was in Beijing, not North Korea. He did not say whether he was planning to treat Kim in the future.
Japan's Fuji TV on Monday aired footage of Kim Jong-nam, Kim's eldest son, leaving the hospital in Paris after meeting with Roux last week, saying the doctor left for Pyongyang two days later.
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