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May 29, 2017

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Alleged Kim Jung Il widow treated in Berlin clinic: report

SEOUL -- A woman believed to be late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's widow, Kim Ok, was treated at a hospital in Berlin earlier this year, a South Korean newspaper reported Saturday.

She received treatment for cervical disc and hip problems at a university hospital in the German capital in May and June, the Chosun Ilbo daily said, quoting officials at the hospital.

She arrived in Berlin in mid-May on a direct flight from Beijing and stayed at a luxury hotel. She was accompanied by North Korean diplomats when she visited the hospital, it said.

The daily carried two pictures of her, one of which showed a middle-aged woman wearing a khaki jacket and a pair of white sandals, a grey and blue scarf around her neck, sitting on a row of chairs arranged along a hospital wall.

The other picture showed her with a surprised look and trying to hide her face from the camera.

It is not rare for North Korean VIPs to receive treatment abroad as the impoverished communist state lacks adequate medicine and medical equipment.

Kim Ok reportedly started living with Kim Jong Il in 2004 after his wife Ko Yong-Hui died of cancer. She then took on much of the role of North Korea's first lady, reportedly travelling with Kim Jong Il on trips to China.

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