Pyongyang Denies Report That Leader Kim Is Ill

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s presidential office says that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is believed to be recovering from an apparent stroke.

A presidential spokesman said late Wednesday that South Korea’s president and top officials had received an intelligence briefing on Kim’s health.

According to the briefing, Kim was “not seen to be in a serious condition.”

Speculation has intensified that Kim may have taken ill after he missed a parade Tuesday commemorating the communist state’s founding 60 years ago.

That followed weeks of being absent from public view and rumors that foreign doctors were brought to the isolated nation to possibly treat him.