North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il may have had a second stroke in October that has affected his speech, a Japanese news report said Tuesday.
US intelligence received information that Kim, 66, had another stroke in late October, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) said on its website, citing an unnamaid he had no information to confirm the TBS report.
Kim's health is the subject of intense speculation because he has not publicly nominated a successor to run the impoverished and nuclear-armed nation.
French brain surgeon Francois-Xavier Roux, head of neurosurgery at the Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris, has admitted to visiting Pyongyang last month but denied treating the North Korean leader.
After Kim failed to attend a September 9 parade marking the country's 60th anniversary, South Korean and US officials said the reclusive leader had suffered a stroke around mid-August but was recovering well.
Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said late last month that Kim was probably in hospital but still capable of making decisions.
Some reports have said Kim may have suffered partial paralysis. North Korean official media recently released news accounts and photos of Kim's activities without specifying when the activities took place.