Why else would he miss the party for the 60th anniversary of North Korea?

North Korea did not stage a massive military parade for its 60th anniversary on Tuesday and its top leader, Kim Jong-il, failed to attend a scaled-down celebration.

The unexpectedly subdued ceremony came amid news reports that Mr. Kim, 66, might be seriously ill.

For the 50th and 55th anniversaries of his country’s founding, Mr. Kim attended elaborate parades in which columns of armored vehicles and rocket launchers rumbled through Pyongyang’s main plaza as legions of goose-stepping soldiers saluted him.

Although 60th anniversaries are important milestones in Korea, Tuesday’s parade featured only civil defense militia groups and ordinary citizens, according to Yonhap, South Korea’s main news agency, which monitors North Korean news.

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