Kim Jong Il is Dead

The North Korean dictator succumbs to a heart attack.

2011-12-18
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died, according to the reclusive nuclear armed nation's state television on Monday (local time). He was 69.

Kim, believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, died on Saturday, the broadcast said in the country's capital Pyongyang, news agencies reported.

In a "special broadcast," it said Kim died of a heart attack on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" on Dec. 17 during a "high intensity field inspection," the Associated Press reported.

It said an autopsy was done on Sunday and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.

His son Kim Jong Un is seen as a potential successor after he was appointed to senior political and military posts last year.

Iron hand

The senior Kim had ruled the country with an iron hand and had refused to dismantle its nuclear weapons despite persistent international pressure.

Despite the stroke, Kim traveled recently to his closest ally China, and Russia and made numerous trips around the country.

He had been in power since 1994 when his father died of a heart attack at the age of 82.

Reported by RFA's Korean service. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

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