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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died: reports

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#1


By Staff reporters

SEOUL, Dec 19 – 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, North Korean state television reported on Monday.

Kim, who was 69 years old, died on Saturday, it said.

Kim was the unchallenged head of the reclusive state whose economy fell deeper into poverty during his years in power as he vexed the world by developing a nuclear arms programme and an arsenal of missiles aimed to hit neighbours Japan and South Korea.

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 U.S. President George W. Bush as the ruler of “an outpost of tyranny”.

He was thought to have suffered a stroke in August 2008.

This black and while photo dated 23 January 2003 and received 03 February 2003 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (C-dark glasses) inspecting the Korean People's Army (KPA) unit 230 along with top military leaders at an undisclosed location in North Korea, 23 January 2003. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il died on December 17, 2011: Pyongyang's state TV said on December 19, 2011.
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.

Kim Jong-il, famed for his bouffant hair-do, platform shoes and jump suits, slowly emerged from his father’s shadows to become one of the world’s most enigmatic leaders who put North Korea on the path of becoming a nuclear power.

His state was also frequently cited as a threat to global stability.

EARLY YEARS

Despite being on the world stage longer than most world leaders, little was known about Kim. He rarely spoke in public, almost never travelled abroad and has an official biography that is steeped in propaganda but lacking in concrete substance.

Kim had a host of titles in North Korea, but president was not one of them. Kim Il-sung was given the posthumous title of president for life, while his son’s most powerful posts included the chairman of the National Defence Commission, the real centre of power in North Korea, and Supreme Commander of the Korea People’s Army.

North Korean propaganda said Kim Jong-il was born on Feb. 16, 1942, at a secret camp for rebel fighters led by his father near Korea’s famed Mount Paektu. But analysts say he was likely born in the Soviet Union when his father was with other Korean communist exiles receiving military and other training.

His official biography said that in elementary school he showed his revolutionary spirit by leading marches to battlefields where Korean rebels fought against Japanese occupiers of the peninsula.

By the time he was in middle school he had shown himself to be an exemplary factory worker who could repair trucks and electric motors.

He went to Kim Il-sung University where he studied the great works of communist thinkers as well as his father’s revolutionary theory, in a systematic way, state propaganda said.

North Korea analysts said however, Kim lived a life of privilege in the capital, Pyongyang, when his family returned to the divided peninsula in 1945.

The Soviets later installed Kim Il-sung as the new leader of North Korea and the family lived in a Pyongyang mansion formerly occupied by a Japanese officer.

Kim Jong-il’s younger brother mysteriously drowned in a pool at the residence in 1947.

Kim likely spent many of his younger years in China to receive an education and to keep him safe during the 1950-1953 Korean War, analysts said.

ANOINTED SUCCESSOR

After graduating from college, Kim joined the ruling Worker’s Party of Korea in 1964 and quickly rose through its ranks. By 1973, he was the party’s secretary of organisation and propaganda, and in 1974 his father anointed him as his successor.

Kim gradually increased his power in domestic affairs over the following years and his control within the ruling party greatly increased when the younger Kim was given senior posts in the Politburo and Military Commission in 1980.

Intelligence experts say Kim ordered a 1983 bombing in Myanmar that killed 17 senior South Korean officials and the destruction of a Korean Air jetliner in 1987 that killed 115.

He is also suspected of devising plans to raise cash by kidnapping Japanese, dealing drugs through North Korean embassies and turning the country into a major producer of counterfeit currency.

Kim was known as a womaniser, a drinker and a movie buff, according to those people who had been in close contact with him and later left the country. He enjoyed ogling Russian dancing girls, amassing a wine cellar with more than 10,000 bottles and downing massive amounts of lobster and cognac.

North Korea’s propaganda machine painted a much more different picture.

It said Kim piloted jet fighters — even though he travelled by land for his infrequent trips abroad. He penned operas, had a photographic memory, produced movies and accomplished a feat unmatched in the annals of professional golf, shooting 11 holes-in-one on the first round he ever played.

When he first took power in 1994, many analysts thought Kim’s term as North Korea’s leader would be short-lived and powerful elements in the military would rise up to take control of the state.

The already anaemic economy was in a shambles due to the end of the Cold War and the loss of traditional trading partners. Poor harvests and floods led to about 1 million people to die in a famine in the 1990s after he took power.

Despite the tenuous position from which he started, Kim managed to stay in power. He also installed economic reforms that were designed to bring a small and controlled amount of free-market economics into the state-planned economy.

NUCLEAR POWER

His greatest moment may have come on June 15, 2000, when he hosted the first summit of the leaders of the two Koreas when then South Korean Kim Dae-jung visited Pyongyang.

Kim’s image was transformed from a feared and mysterious leader to a kind-hearted host who had the world knocking on his door. A landmark summit with then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Russian President Vladimir Putin soon followed the visit by South Korea’s president.

The ray of sunshine out of the North then came to an end.

In 2002, tension rose after Washington said Pyongyang had admitted to pursuing a nuclear arms programme in violation of a 1994 agreement that was to have frozen its atomic ambitions.

North Korea expelled International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in December 2002 and said in January 2003 it was quitting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In February 2005, North Korea said it had nuclear weapons and in October 2006, it rattled the region by exploding a nuclear device. North Korea conducted a second nuclear test in May 2009.

Kim Jong-il reportedly told visitors that it was the dying wish of his father to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons and he wanted to work toward that end, but he first wanted to see the United States treat his state with respect.

Tensions heightened to their highest levels in years in 2010 with the torpedoing of a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors. The South blamed the attack on Pyongyang, but North denied responsibility. Later that year, the North bombarded a South Korean island, the first such attack against civilian target since the 1950-53 Korean War.

This year, Kim’s health appeared to have improved and he visibly gained weight. He visited China twice and travelled to Russia for the first time in nearly a decade.

Kim has three known sons. He is believed to have anointed the youngest, Kim Jong-un, to succeed him.

South Korea military placed on emergency alert

South Korea’s military has been put on emergency alert following the report of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s death, Yonhap news agency said on Monday.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House has called an emergency National Security Council meeting, Yonhap said.

Source: National Post
 

Jeff

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#2
Couple of big names died this year.

Would like to see how North Korea becomes now.
 

Dan

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"Was known as a womanizer" LOL

Anyways, I highly doubt anything will change even at the wake of his death, especially if his son succeeds him. We've seen it repeat countless times, for a nation to change, revolution must occur. I don't think we'll see a North Korean revolution any time soon.

edit:

What if the American troops withdrawal is a pre-emptive movement against a possible event related to the DPRK?

 
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#9
"Was known as a womanizer" LOL

Anyways, I highly doubt anything will change even at the wake of his death, especially if his son succeeds him. We've seen it repeat countless times, for a nation to change, revolution must occur. I don't think we'll see a North Korean revolution any time soon.
Like you said, typical 007 villian lol
 

Dan

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#10
Been playing some Tom Clancy, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum scenarios in my mind.

- Death of Kim Jong Il announced.
- Youngest son Kim Jong Un succeeds. Foreign education, three older sons are useless, son whose father is most fond of, and share identical likings. The son is either identical or worse than the father. Inherits the will of his father, multiplied by 10 fold. Either turns the country around, or becomes the stereotype evil who wants to take over the world.
- America pulls its troops, Defcon 4. Possibly preparing against the unthinkable.
- Economy takes a dive.
- Resource redeployment.
- Iran and China allies with DPRK. Supports and congratulates Kim Jong Un as new leader. NATO countries are in state of readiness. Russia is a wild card.
- Nuke deployed accidentally or otherwise.
- S. Korea (Heaven forbids) is Ground Zero.
- The world is fucked.

JAMES BOND WHERE ARE YOU
 
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#11
Been playing some Tom Clancy, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum scenarios in my mind.

- Death of Kim Jong Il announced.
- Youngest son Kim Jong Un succeeds. Foreign education, three older sons are useless, son whose father is most fond of, and share identical likings. The son is either identical or worse than the father. Inherits the will of his father, multiplied by 10 fold. Either turns the country around, or becomes the stereotype evil who wants to take over the world.
- America pulls its troops, Defcon 4. Possibly preparing against the unthinkable.
- Economy takes a dive.
- Resource redeployment.
- Iran and China allies with DPRK. Supports and congratulates Kim Jong Un as new leader. NATO countries are in state of readiness. Russia is a wild card.
- Nuke deployed accidentally or otherwise.
- S. Korea (Heaven forbids) is Ground Zero.
- The world is fucked.

JAMES BOND WHERE ARE YOU
He had a cowboy hat and was fighting aliens, then slept with Lisbeth
 
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#13
Been playing some Tom Clancy, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum scenarios in my mind.

- Death of Kim Jong Il announced.
- Youngest son Kim Jong Un succeeds. Foreign education, three older sons are useless, son whose father is most fond of, and share identical likings. The son is either identical or worse than the father. Inherits the will of his father, multiplied by 10 fold. Either turns the country around, or becomes the stereotype evil who wants to take over the world.
- America pulls its troops, Defcon 4. Possibly preparing against the unthinkable.
- Economy takes a dive.
- Resource redeployment.
- Iran and China allies with DPRK. Supports and congratulates Kim Jong Un as new leader. NATO countries are in state of readiness. Russia is a wild card.
- Nuke deployed accidentally or otherwise.
- S. Korea (Heaven forbids) is Ground Zero.
- The world is fucked.

JAMES BOND WHERE ARE YOU
WWIII?
 

ralphrepo

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#15
Couldn't have said it better myself. -cool2

IMHO, No.

If hostilities ever started anew on the Korean peninsula, it would likely stay confined there. The PRC may be an ally of the DPRK, but this is a marriage of pure political convenience (as is the DPRK alliance with Iran and Myanmar). The dollars and cents (for the less pragmatic) of the equation is as follow, the PRC's biggest and best customer is the US; the PRC's worst foreign capital expenditure (where money goes out but nothing ever comes back in) is the DPRK. The outcome of this calculus is rather plain. That is the biggest issue.

Secondary consideration has to simply use Tibet and XinJiang as examples. This is where the PRC has tried for years to assimilate two foreign cultures (Tibetan and Uighur) to much consternation and political upheaval, not to mention billions in costs of military containment. If a war broke out, it is projected that millions of DPRK destitute would flee across the border into northern China. Remember, they're Koreans first and "communist" second, and worse, they will never think of themselves as Chinese. Since the Ming, Koreans have abhored and hated China for its centuries long subjugation of the Land of Morning Calm, and the party knows this. Hence, does anyone seriously think that China would ever welcome millions of Koreans pouring into China, living underground, with the risk of fermenting a northeastern hotbed of discontent and possible rebellion against party rule? I certainly don't think so. If anything, as soon as the first bullet is fired, my gut feeling is the PRC would immediately move to close its borders, if it hasn't already done so. Further, the age old presumption that the PRC is using the DPRK as a buffer against US invasion or attack from South Korea is a non starter. It may have been so in the 1950's, but when one considers today, that US submarines can launch cruise missiles into the middle of China from both the Pacific AND Indian oceans, the DPRK has become moot. In other words, the DPRK isn't even militarily worthwhile to China anymore.

If a war broke out with the DPRK with the west, the final logistic arbiter isn't how many bullets that the north has, but how much in food reserves. Given the average active war soldier eats roughly three times as many daily calories as an inactive civilian, the DPRK system of limited rations would literally collapse in weeks. And this already calculates into the equation, their anticipated gambit of letting its own civilians starve (with the attendant rioting and civil unrest) while preferentially feeding only their soldiers and politically connected (a tactic used in the PRC during the Great Leap Forward, when up to an estimated 50 million rural Chinese were allowed to starve to death, while the party fed their urban bases of control). South Korean military strikes too, then would target northern food supplies, which generally are not hidden or in hardened structures, rendering those assets to sudden loss.

Moreover, the finale arbiter of armed resistence is the people. What would happen if the North and South went into war? IMHO, after years of abuse, the DPRK's own citizens (like Libya, et al) would rise up against their leaders in the north and openly assist in their overthrow. They would welcome the south with open arms and the "war" would be over in a few weeks if even that.

That being said, the real worrisome facet of this new development is the fact that Kim Jong Il has passed on before letting his heir apparent attain a firm grip on the mechanics of the regime. Much like how the Qing relied on the political affiliation of the eight Banners, military strength in the DPRK can be vulnerable to a coup (by whoever holds the reins and allegiance of the military) to which the younger Kim Jong-un is not wholly prepared to resist. The north may balkanize into fiefdoms of military warlords like the Russian Chechnya situation. Another facet may be that the whole thing is a hoax, designed as a maneuver by Kim Jong Il to root out possible mutineer threats to his son and future leader. At this point, the south being on alert is a good thing, as anything can happen. I would wait until the smoke clears before being firm on any conclusions at this early juncture. As for the north launching a nuclear weapon against the south; IMHO, I don't think that this would ever happen. The north's nukes are only good as threats. Once launched and the south is hit, this almost guarantees that the US will respond with nukes, and the US has a lot more under strict targeting control, than the DPRK could ever hope to dream of. The Republic of Korea, wounded and bruised, would nonetheless survive, while the north would remain decimated and taken over. Thus, the DPRK's strongest move is to point the gun, not pull the trigger.
 

MissCheekS

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#16
Yeah, guess where i heard it first.... on FB! -_-.... so whats next.... his son is gonna replace him n the story continues?


just saw this on youtube.................0_o

[video=youtube;pSWN6Qj98Iw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWN6Qj98Iw&feature=g-logo&context=G29b36e2FOAAAAAAAAAA[/video]

this is some crazy shit... i dont think id shed a tear if Mr Rutte, our prime minister would die.......
 

ralphrepo

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#17
Yeah, guess where i heard it first.... on FB! -_-.... so whats next.... his son is gonna replace him n the story continues?


just saw this on youtube.................0_o

[video=youtube;pSWN6Qj98Iw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWN6Qj98Iw&feature=g-logo&context=G29b36e2FOAAAAAAAAAA[/video]

this is some crazy shit... i dont think id shed a tear if Mr Rutte, our prime minister would die.......
Forgive me for being an unbeliever, but methinks many other DPRK folks are secretly if not outright rejoicing. The ones in the capital city of Pyongyang are going to be crying their eyes out as they're the favored class of urbanites that Kim Jong Il surrounded himself with. Now, their benefactor is gone, so yes, they're scared shit over what's going to happen to them.
 

Dan

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#18
The following is from an old article, and whether it is true or not, this is really powerful IMO:

An episode relayed by Mr. Fujimoto and often cited by analysts to illustrate Kim Jong-un’s sequestered existence, if not his leadership qualities, took place several years ago when the chef and Kim Jong-un were smoking a cigarette in a car. Mr. Kim, then 18, looked into the distance and, according to the chef’s account, said: “We are here, playing basketball, riding horses, riding Jet Skis, having fun together. But what of the lives of the average people?”
Source: A 2009 article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/world/asia/15kim.html?ref=global-home

My biggest fear is that if he is indeed good and strives for change for the better, there may be some organizations attempting to frame him and push him to be the evil dictator like his father, for media purposes.
 

ralphrepo

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#20
The following is from an old article, and whether it is true or not, this is really powerful IMO: Source: A 2009 article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/world/asia/15kim.html?ref=global-home My biggest fear is that if he is indeed good and strives for change for the better, there may be some organizations attempting to frame him and push him to be the evil dictator like his father, for media purposes.
That raises the question of whether the statement was actually real or not; whether he actually said it, or was it a statement attributed to him his government purely for western press consumption. Additionally, being leader at this stage, without the backing of his father leaves him sort of like the last emperor, Pu Yi. He may be the boss, but the eunuchs ran the palace. Remember the scene in The Last Emperor, where Pu Yi finally realizes that the palace eunuchs have been stealing from the imperial artifacts collection and orders them to inventory the entire collection? He is awoken in the middle of the night to the collection consumed by fire. In other words, just because he is the boss doesn't mean that he's actually in charge. There are many well fed dogs of the regime who will do anything they can to remain the favored dog. If he does anything that would displace them, like a true accounting of the government, he may be awoken one night to his regime afire.
 
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