Moments ago North Korean State Television announced that its leader (and feared dictator) has died. Most reports seem to agree that he suffered myocardial infarction (a heart attack) while traveling by train to Pyongyang. His death occurred on Saturday, December 17 but it was not announced until Monday, December 19.
Kim assumed power in July 1994 after the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea in 1948. Since Kim took power in 1994 the country has seen considerable economic decline and North Koreans have experienced widespread poverty.
Kim’s selling of arms, building of nuclear weapons and threatening to use them against entities he disliked while at the same time isolating the people of his country earned him an unsavory reputation (to put it mildly).
Personally, I was shocked when I found out! I’ve heard reports that he has been sick and might have suffered a stroke but then again I’ve heard similar reports about the failing health of Fidel Castro, the communist leader of Cuba. Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong Eun, has been announced as his successor. Kim Jong Eun is about 27 years old and a 4-star general in the North Korean military. Is anyone else concerned that a 27-year-old will be running this tumultuous country? Then again, this could be one of the best things to happen to North Korea in 63 years! Here is a picture of the new and young ”eternal president”:
Check out this National Geographic special on North Korea. Reporter Lisa Ling gets a rare glimpse inside this fascinatingly isolated country: