Sunday, December 18, 2011
Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader, dies
Kim Jong-il is understood to have suffered a heart attack on Saturday due to physical and mental over-work
Kim Jong-il, the "dear leader" still venerated by many in North Korea but reviled abroad, has died aged 69, state media announced on Monday morning.
The North Korean leader suffered a heart attack on Saturday due to physical and mental over-work, the official KCNA news agency reported. He was on his train, travelling to offer "field guidance" to workers, when he died.
KCNA urged the nation, people and military to rally behind his young son and heir apparent, telling them they must "faithfully revere" Kim Jong-un's leadership.
Kim had recovered from a reported stroke in 2008, and Monday's announcement was unexpected. But he had already begun grooming Kim Jong-un to take control of the "hermit state", appointing him a general last year and giving him several high profile roles.
Experts say there is increasing cynicism in North Korea about the regime, which exerts rigid political control but has proved incapable of meeting basic economic needs. But people in the streets of Pyongyang burst into tears as they learnt of Kim's death, Associated Press reported.
"It is the biggest loss for the party ... and it is our people and nation's biggest sadness," a tearful anchorwoman clad in black Korean traditional dress told viewers as she announced Kim's death.
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HERE IS A VIDEO OF THE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON NORTH KOREAN TV...