Tuesday, September 9, 2008

AUDIO:N Korea's Kim Died In 2003; Replaced By Lookalike, Says Waseda Professor

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="285" caption="Kim Jong-Il ... dead man walking? (Reuters: Korea News Service)"]Korea News Service)[/caption]

He doesn't appear in public very often so it's difficult to verify but there are allegations today that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il has in fact been dead for five years.

A Japanese expert on North Korea is claiming that the role of the "Dear Leader" has instead been played by a group of doubles since 2003, when he says the President died of diabetes.

The word "reclusive" hardly does Kim Jong-Il justice. The 66-year-old was last seen in public on August 14, when he inspected a military unit.

He is known for dipping out of the international spotlight for months on end, especially when relations with other countries such as the US are strained.

The leader has been thought to be ill for some time but Japanese-North Korean expert Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura is proposing a far worse state.

AUDIO: Expert claims North Korea's leader is dead (The World Today)

"Already he has died. A lot of information came from Pyongyang," he told The World Today.

The proof of the North Korean leader's passing is varied and rests on the main claim that Kim Jong-Il is being played by a number of convincing imposters.

The fake Kims are said to be the wrong height and are always shadowed by one of four senior military figures.

"A Japanese TV station checked his voice print four years ago and the result was the voice was different, the former Kim Jong-Il and now Kim Jong-Il, so there are questions," Professor Shigemura said.

Kim Jong-Il's secret death is impossible to verify and other North Korean experts have called the claim silly.

Professor Shigemura is not completely certain himself but has been in contact with unnamed close friends of Kim Jong-Il.

"But they are pretty high, maybe 60 per cent or 70 per cent [sure] it's possible," he said.

"We can trust those persons so we trust, we are trusting this person with the information."

This would mean that the world, including Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, have been negotiating with an impostor.

Kim Jong-Il has ruled the secretive Communist state since the death of his father Kim Il-Sung in 1994 but his father remains the state's eternal President beyond death.

So who pulls the strings now if Professor Shigemura's claims are correct?

"Some of the military leaders, also the party leaders, and government leaders," he said.

"Several people are conducting North Korea's government. Actually the North Korean government is guided by those people, those leaders, not only one person. Now they are collective leaderships."

The best chance to test the theory could come tomorrow when Kim Jong-Il is due to appear at a military parade celebrating 60 years since the founding of North Korea.

"He will be the double Kim Jong-Il, it will be positive," Professor Shigemura said.

Based on a report by Karen Barlow for The World Today

Source: JapanToday.Com - Abc.Net.Au

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