BEIJING — North Korea's 68-year-old dictator Kim Jong Il appeared shriveled and worn during this week's scaled-down visit to China, signs that his health has deteriorated. South Korean experts also report Kim, known as heavy drinker, is undergoing kidney dialysis every two weeks.
Analysts pronounced the visit a success, with state media reporting that Kim had pledged to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks that North Korea abandoned in December 2008.
He also appeared to have obtained much-needed economic assistance from China, as well as to seek approval for his succession plans. Kim is said to be grooming a son, Kim Jong Un, to succeed him.