Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Don Kirk has a brief dispatch in the Christian Science Monitor that questions whether former US President Bill Clinton actually met with Kim Jong-il or his body double. I sincerely hope I am not wasting my time writing about General-Secretary Kim’s guidance tours if he is, in fact, using a body double for these appearances. Several South Korean analysts are quoted in the article, but “far from verified” as Mr. Kirk writes. Other than mindless speculation from Seoul-based DPRK experts, the only material evidence is a second-hand claim of a personal connection to the daughter of one of the body doubles.
Perhaps, the next dignitary who meets General-Secretary Kim can request his fingerprints or some other verifiable physical information–maybe a saliva swab tested against the DNA of an expat Kim relative.
Rumors of death and body-doubles have a precedent in the communist world: Leonid Brezhnev. There were numerous rumors about Brezhnev’s demise in the 1970’s (see one story here) which turned out not to be false.