SEOUL- North Korea has denied that its leader Kim Jong Il is seriously ill.
The communist state yesterday granted Japan's Kyodo News Agency rare interviews with top officials who dismissed reports questioning Kim's health.
The announcement follows Kim's absence from a key ceremony.
Speculation has it that he is ill after he missed a parade on Tuesday commemorating North Korea's founding 60 years ago.
That followed weeks of absence from public view and rumours that foreign doctors were called in to treat him.
The country's number two leader, Kim Yong Nam, also denied that Kim is sick. - Sapa-AP