Update: More coup rumors.
Thanks to a friend for alerting me to this one, although it doesn’t seem to have worked out the way I hoped:
The South Korean government on Friday denied a Japanese report that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could be ill or faced a military coup.
Japan’s Jiji Press reported that Kim may be under house arrest at his villa in Wonsan along the east coast.
“The Japanese report on Kim Jong-il seems groundless because various circumstances in North Korea are normal for now,” a South Korean government official said, asking to remain anonymous. “The report by Jiji is not reliable.”
According to wire reports from Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, asked about the report, said, “We have not heard information of that kind.”
Other reports, based on diplomatic sources, report that things are normal on the streets of Pyongyang. I recall, but cannot find, reports from a month or two ago of “unusual military movements” near Pyongyang that may have been military exercises.