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Cho Myung-rok, Third Highest Ranked North Korean, Suddenly Hospitalized

Cho Myung-rok, Third Highest Ranked North Korean, Suddenly Hospitalized

Posted December. 01, 2003 22:50,   


Sankei Shimbun, referring to a well-informed Korean source, reported yesterday from news reported in Seoul that Cho Myung-rok, director of the political bureau of North Korea`s People`s Army and ranking third in power, underwent an emergency hospitalization at an army-based hospital in Beijing, China, reaching the destination through an overland route.

According to the source, Cho Myung-rok left for the hospital on November 26 at around 10 p.m. and passed through the Dandong area, the boundary area of China and North Korea, by train and went to an army-based hospital after reaching Beijing on November 27. Civilians at Beijing Station were restricted to pass by the train at one point and guards were reinforced because of this.

Cho Myung-rok, holding an additional post as first vice-chairman of the National Defense Committee, is the de facto superior leader of the N.K. Army and recently, rumors have spread that he is seriously ill.

Sankei Shimbun reported that Cho Myung-rok had visited China right before the NK-US-China tripartite conference in April for medical treatment, and that there is a possibility that he has been to China recently to prepare for the second six-way talks.