PARIS (AP) — A French neurosurgeon who says his medical treatment brought Kim Jong Il out of a coma following a debilitating 2008 stroke has suggested the secretive North Korean leader was living on borrowed time.
Dr. Francois-Xavier Roux said he was flown urgently to North Korea in August 2008 to examine Kim, who was unconscious and "in a bad way" while in intensive care at Pyongyang's Red Cross Hospital. Roux said the stroke increased Kim's chances of death in subsequent years.
The trip and medical exam gave nearly unparalleled access for a Westerner into North Korea's secretive regime. Roux is chief of neurosurgery at Sainte Anne Hospital in Paris.
Roux spoke to The Associated Press on Monday after North Korean state media announced Kim's death at 69 following a heart attack two days earlier.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.