North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Dead

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (BDCi) – – The Associated Press reports that North Korea’s long time ruler Kim Jong Il died. The 69-year old leader was said to have suffered from diabetes and heart disease.

The AP states that in a “special broadcast” Monday, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a “great mental and physical strain” on Saturday during a “high intensity field inspection.”

Kim Jong Il is more widely known as the hard line dictator who brought North Korea a nuclear weapons program and economic sanctions thereafter which have “starved” his people of much needed resources.

The enigmatic ruler took over power from his father Kim Sung Il after the elder’s death in 1994. Jong Il had been groomed to succeed his father for two decades and put most of his focus on beefing up the military. North Korea is said to have the fifth largest military in the world.

Kim Jong Un, the third son of Kim Jong Il is widely known as the likely successor to the leadership post. However Yahoo reports that this may be a transition period where a committee runs the country until the 20-something son is capable of taking on the responsibility.

There’s also discussion among the international relations community that there may be a challenge from Kim Jong Il’s powerful brother-in-law who has served as the ruler’s aide for many years.

As there was speculation that North Korea could initiate aggressive actions upon Kim Jong Il’s death, South Korea, its 62-year-long nemesis put its military on “high alert”.

By Don Weinstein
Source: AP, Yahoo
Photo courtesy of: international ie
19 December 2011
9:00 a.m. P.S.T.
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