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President Hospitalized for Bronchitis

Posted August. 13, 2002 22:23,   


President Kim Dae Jung was hospitalized in the Army Hospital in Seoul at around 9 p.m. on August 12, 2002 for the flu from which he had suffered from for several days. The next day, he was released from the hospital. This is the second time he was hospitalized during his presidency. Last April (from Apr. 9 to Apr. 15), he was taken to hospital for stomach disease and fatigue, along with the pain on his left leg that was sprained in March.

The medical team that examined the President diagnosed that President is showing symptoms of bronchitis from infection of the upper trachea (i.e. airway). When the upper trachea is infected, a patient suffers from high fever and symptoms such as swollen upper bronchus and larynx. Park Sun-sook, chief aide of public relations, confirmed, “The medical team said two to three more days are necessary for President’s recovery and thus recommended so.”

President Kim got temporarily released from the hospital and attended the cabinet meeting in the morning of August 13th. The cabinet members on hand at the meeting said that he did not look good. His face was pale, his voice was hoarse and he coughed from time to time. Medical experts warn, “Flu could transform itself into pneumonia and bronchitis. It is more likely to happen to children and the elderly who usually have a weak immune system. Especially for the elderly, the flu can lead to a fatal situation.”

One Blue House aide said, “Despite the health problem, President Kim is drafting his address for the August 15th Independence Day ceremony himself. But we are not sure whether he could deliver the address himself on that day.” The date of August 13th is a special day for President Kim. In August of 1973, he was abducted in Tokyo. Later he was released alive on August 13th of 1973. Thus, he would have gone to a Mass with his family in remembrance of the 27th anniversary of the incident as he had done previously.”

Chol-Hi Lee klimt@donga.com