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Photos of North Korean leader surface amidst speculation of failing health

Government officials released new photos of Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on Sunday, according to CNN.

Recent speculation has been rampant with regards to Il's health. Rumors began surfacing after Kim Jong-Il was absent during national functions.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the North Korean media released the photos almost two months after the leader was believed to have suffered a stroke.

The photos were taken during a soccer match as Kim Jong-Il sat smiling wearing his trademark spectacles. The Korean government did not provide the locale or time of the photos.

Korean officials have stated that the speculation on Il's health is a Western motivated attack to discredit their leaders control over the communist nation.

The images were released on a Korean news broadcast. The narrator of that broadcast said the female soldiers' "hearts were pounding" because of Kim.