Kim Jong Il, North Korean Dictator, Dead

December 18, 2011 8:48 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 3:00 pm
File photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (C) inspecting a branch of the North Korean central bank in Hoeryong, North Korea. (KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

Kim Jong Il, the “Dear Leader” of North Korea, has died, according to a state television broadcast on Monday.

It was fatigue during a train ride on Saturday that killed Kim, who was reported to have had a stroke in 2008 and was believed to suffer from diabetes and heart disease.

Kim Jong Il was handed power after 20 years of communist grooming by his father, the “founder” of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.

A third Kim—Kim Jong Il’s third son, Kim Jong-un—is in line to take over the enigmatic Stalinist state. Reports indicate that he has been trained well in the militarist and dictatorial ways of the family dynasty, which oversees a poor country sometimes beset by famine, and what observers have suggested is one of the closest modern approximations to the totalitarian dystopia depicted in George Orwell’s “1984.”

The South Korean government and its troops began preparing for the worst, entering a state of emergency after the death in the North was announced, according to reports. Read a Korean Central News Agency report in Chinese HERE.