December 12, 2008 09:05
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il suffered a cerebral hemorrhage but did not undergo surgery and is recovering, according to a French neurosurgeon who treated the reclusive leader in October. Francois-Xavier Roux made the disclosure in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro.
Meanwhile, French intelligence services reportedly checked with a heart surgeon from Lyons who visited the North to treat Kim back in 2004 whether he brought back a blood sample with him and whether Kim had contracted AIDS.
Le Figaro carried a full-page feature on Thursday on the secretive treatment of the top-class families of North Korea. Under the title "These French Doctors at Kim Jong-il's Bedside (Ces medecins francais au chevet de Kim Jong-il)," the daily reported the behind-the-scenes stories. in November, 1991, when Kim Il-sung had a heart attack, North Korea took a heart surgeon from Lyons to Pyongyang, and North Korean diplomats in Switzerland sent a pacemaker for his operation to the North in a diplomatic pouch.
Roux said declined to give anymore details of Kim Jong-il's condition citing patient confidentiality. But he added a picture showing Kim visiting the Pyongyang zoo released on Dec. 2 "shows his current appearance. I don’t think the picture has been tampered with."
French doctors say Kim Jong-nam, the leader's eldest son, is suffering from a congenital heart complaint.
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