A number of analysts are convinced that photos released of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il are not really of the dear leader — but rather a strikingly good look-alike.

Observers say the communist country's leader is too sick to make appearances, including August's meeting with former President Bill Clinton, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Evidence of the resemblance is not verified, but several North Korean refugees report that Kim has several people standing in for him on some of the 122 trips he's made this year, the paper reports.

Ha Tae-young, president of Open Radio for North Korea, cites one recent North Korean defector who claimed he knew a girl whose father was an actor for Kim.

"Recently Kim Jong Il loses fat. He's very skinny these days. The defector says, 'If Kim Jong Il looks skinny, the actor can do the same thing'," Ha said.

Click here for the full report from the Christian Science Monitor.