N.Korea leader examined by French doctors: report
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was examined by French doctors this month at one of his secret villas, two years after he suffered a stroke, a report said Friday.
Two French doctors closely checked Kim's "cerebrovascular and spinal nerve system" from August 2 to 14 at his seaside villa in Hamheung, about 150kms (90 miles) northeast of Pyongyang, the Seoul-based Open Radio for North Korea reported.
The two were in charge of Kim's treatment when he suffered a stroke in 2008, it said.
"This time, they conducted an MRI examination and a check-up on Kim's spinal nerve system and cerebrovascular," it said.
A South Korean state research institute said in March that Kim was suffering from kidney failure which requires dialysis and also had partial paralysis following the 2008 stroke.
His health has been the subject of intense international attention because of the North's nuclear and missile programmes and uncertainty about who will succeed him as leader of the secretive communist nation.
Kim has not publicly appointed an eventual successor, but his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, is widely believed to be being groomed to take over from his 68-year-old father.
Some analysts say the North will probably designate Jong-Un as his father's political heir when it convenes a meeting of key communist party delegates in September, which will be only the third such gathering since the communist state was founded in 1948.
It is seen as the most important party event since 1980, when a convention of all party members made public Kim Jong-Il's status as the eventual successor to his father and founding president Kim Il-Sung.
Kim Jong-Il took over from his father in in 1994 in the communist world's only dynastic succession.
South Korea's spy chief said in June that the leader's poor health was driving him to speed up preparations for a handover and that Jong-Un was taking a greater role in policymaking and often accompanied his father on inspection tours.
© 2010 AFP