Beijing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met today with a senior official from China in Pyongyang, Chinese state media reported, the first known meeting between the reclusive leader and a foreign dignitary since he reportedly fell ill last August.
South Korean and U.S. officials say the 66-year-old Kim is recovering from a stroke he suffered in August. North Korea, however, denies Kim has been ill and since October has been releasing a steady stream of photos and video footage showing Kim touring the country.
The health of North Korea’s totalitarian leader is of keen interest because he has not publicly named a successor. Kim inherited leadership of the Stalinist nation when his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, died in 1994 after being groomed for the post for 20 years.