Monday, 19 December 2011

Latest News : North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies at the Age Of 69 |

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies
Kim Jong Il, the strangely antic and utterly ruthless heir to North Korea’s Stalinist dictatorship, died of an apparent heart attack Saturday, North Korea’s state media reported Monday. He was 69.

During his reign, he menaced the world with his nuclear ambitions and presided over a famine that killed hundreds of thousands of his subjects.

Mr. Kim formally succeeded his father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994, less than three years after the collapse of North Korea’s longtime sponsor, the Soviet Union. With the end of Soviet trade subsidies and security guarantees, Mr. Kim found himself in charge of a broken and vulnerable country.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies At 69

"Kim Jong Il has been more than a front man, but less than the totalitarian leader his father was, able to just issue diktats and do whatever he wanted to do," says Selig Harrison, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Harrison met twice with Kim Il Sung. He says that Kim Jong Il was not the natural-born political animal his father was. Kim Jong Il was the son of Kim Il Sung's first wife. His second wife wanted her eldest son to be heir, not Kim Jong Il. Many of the old guard within the ruling Workers Party, meanwhile, felt a dynastic succession from one Kim to the next was "un-Communist."
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