Report: North Korea's Kim recovering from brain surgery

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- According to South Korean media reports, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il is recovering from brain surgery after a stroke last month. He could have partial paralysis on his left side.

But the South Korean government says the communist leader remains in control of his country.

Newspapers reported today that foreign doctors, possibly from China and France, performed the surgery after Kim collapsed in mid-August. A lawmaker says Kim is "recovering fast" and can "stand if assisted." The reports say he is not suffering from the slurred speech commonly associated with a stroke.

U-N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he hopes any situation in the country does "not affect negatively" the international negotiations on North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

Speculation about Kim's health intensified after he missed a parade Tuesday commemorating the communist state's founding 60 years ago. That followed weeks of absence from public view.

North Korea's second-in-command says, "There are no problems."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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