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Kim Jong-il, North Korean Leader, Dies  NYT

69-Year-Old Was Ill Since Reported Stroke in 2008

SEOUL, South Korea -- Kim Jong-il, the reclusive North Korean leader who has been battling ill health following a reported stroke in 2008, has died, the North's official news media reported on Monday.


Mr. Kim was 69 years old. Since he reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008, he has been grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, to be his successor, as his country struggled to fight widespread food shortages and international sanctions imposed for its nuclear weapons development.

Called the "Dear Leader" by his people, Mr. Kim, the son of North Korea's founder, remained an unknowable figure. Yet he fostered perhaps the last personality cult in the Communist world. He had been grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, to be his successor.


Mr. Kim was a source of fascination inside the Central Intelligence Agency, which interviewed his mistresses, tried to track his whereabouts and psychoanalyzed his motives. And he was an object of parody in American culture.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 11:58:45 PM EST
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