North Korea’s Kim Jong II Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer
LATER — Reuters on scenarios for how events might unfold; Smooth, messy or military takeover. And the BBC on S Korea and China discuss North amid the unconfirmed reports of Kim Jong-il’s cancer.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer and the illness is life-threatening, South Korean broadcaster YTN said on Monday based on information gathered by Chinese and South Korean intelligence sources.
Kim’s health is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the reclusive communist state. Kim, 67, was widely thought to have suffered a stroke last year, but there has never been official confirmation.
The South Korean intelligence agency has reported signs that Mr Kim is paving the way for his youngest son, Kim Jong Un to succeed him; unconfirmed reports have even had the 25-year old visiting Beijing to get to know officials of the closest thing North Korea has to an ally – China.
All year, Pyongyang has staged a series of verbal and physical provocations, including the launch of an intercontinental rocket and an underground nuclear test, which suggest that it has abandoned expectations of negotiation with the international community in favour of whipping up nationalist fervour at home.