Obama says NKorean leader seems `pretty healthy'

WASHINGTON (AP) - The leader of reclusive North Korea is "pretty healthy and in control" of the impoverished communist country.

That's the assessment President Barack Obama says he got from Bill Clinton after the former president returned to the U.S. in August with two American journalists who had been detained by the North.

Obama tells CNN's "State of the Union" that those are important things to know about Kim Jong Il because the U.S. doesn't have a lot of interaction with the North Koreans.

The 67-year-old Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke last year. Kim has not publicly named his successor but is widely reported to be grooming his third son, 26-year-old Jong Un, to take over.

Obama says that for a while people thought Kim "was slipping away." But Obama says Kim has "reasserted himself."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)