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World IN BRIEF : NORTH KOREA : Photo of Reclusive Leader Is Released

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

North Korea released a picture of its new leader, Kim Jong Il, in an apparent attempt to fend off rumors that he is in debilitating ill health and fending off power struggles. Kim, 52, has been conspicuously absent from public life since the July 20 funeral of his father, Kim Il Sung. Speculation over his grip on power deepened Sunday when he failed to deliver the traditional New Year’s Day address.


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