A Japanese expert on North Korea is claiming that the country's dictatorial ruler has in fact been dead for years, and is simply played by same-sized doubles at public events.
Jong-Il makes few public appearances and when he does he's surrounded by soaring security guards. Japanese North Korea expert Toshimitsu Shigemura says that's because he died in 2003 and is played by doubles. He demonstrated this by testing the voices of these supposed doubles, which he says did not match the voice of the real head of state.
And his suspicions were thought to be confirmed on Tuesday when Kim Jong didn't turn up to the country's 60th anniversary parade. The news was received warmly around the world, where Kim is largely considered a reclusive and hostile dictator. It has also been received somewhat unquestioningly. The 66-year-old is indeed a long-time sufferer of diabetes, whose conditions worsened in August. But that doesn't mean he's dead. Our Observer says he's simply sick, which is why he's been resting at home.
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