North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, revered at home by a propaganda machine that turned him into a demi-God and vilified in the West as a temperamental tyrant with a nuclear arsenal, has died, state television reported. Kim, who was 69 years old, died on Saturday, it said. Kim was the unchallenged head of the oppressive state whose economy fell deeper into poverty during his years in power.
Kim vexed the world by developing a nuclear arms program and an arsenal of missiles aimed to hit neighbours Japan and South Korea, while at home, his people suffered the degradation of near starvation. Kim had been portrayed as a criminal mastermind behind deadly bombings, a jovial dinner host, a comic buffoon in Hollywood movies and by the administration of former US president George W Bush as the ruler of “an outpost of tyranny”.
In August 2008 Kim suffered a stroke, but was thought to have recovered. It si believed his death was due to a heart attack, though North Korean Media is reporting that his death was due to fatigue.
Known at home as “the Dear Leader”, Kim took over North Korea in 1994 when his father and founder of the reclusive state Kim Il-sung, known as “the Great Leader”, died :: Read the full article »»»»