Sunday, December 18, 2011

North Korea's Kim Jong Il Has Died

At Los Angeles Times, "North Korea says leader Kim Jong Il has died."

And at Hot Air, "Breaking: Kim Jong-Il dead."

The obvious concern is with the transition. The Times reports that Kim's third son, Kim Jong Eun, will take power in a pre-arranged transition.

I'll update with more information. At the video is footage from a Pyongyang military parade in September. You'll see Kim Jong Eun at the clip, on the reviewing stand to the far left of his father.

Added: Some reactions are coming in:

* Althouse, "Kim Jong-il... I didn't even know he was ill."

* Atlas Shrugs, "The bastard is dead. If he hadn't starved his people to death, they would have the strength to dance in the streets."

* Blazing Cat Fur, "Not Castro But Close...Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Dictator, Dead at 70."

* Doug Powers (at Michelle's), "North Korea’s Kim Jong Il Dies."

* Doug Ross, "May He Bake on a Spit for Eternity."

* Lisa Graas, "“Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il Dead at 69."

* Neo-Neocon, "Kim Jong Il Dies."

* The Other McCain, "Kim Jong’s Illness Finally Takes Him."

* Weasel Zippers, "Hell Has A New Occupant: North Korea’s Kim Jong Ill Dead…"

Also, the New York Times is now reporting, "Kim Jong-il, North Korean Leader, Dies: 69-Year-Old Was Ill Since Reported":
Mr. Kim is believed to have been born in Siberia in 1941, when his father, Kim Il-sung, was in exile in the Soviet Union. But in North Korea’s official accounts, he was born in 1942, in a cabin, Abe Lincoln-like. The cabin was in a secret camp of anti-Japanese guerrillas his father commanded on Mount Paektu, a holy piece of land in Korean mythology. The event, the official Korean Central News Agency would often say, was accompanied by the appearance of a bright star in the sky and a double-rainbow that touched the earth.
Little is known of his upbringing, apart from the official statement that he graduated in 1964 from Kim Il-sung University, one of the many institutions, buildings and monuments built to commemorate his father. At the time, North Korea was enmeshed in the cold war, and the younger Kim watched many crises unfold from close up, including North Korea’s seizure of the Pueblo, an American spy ship, in 1968. He appeared episodically at state events, rarely speaking. When he did, he revealed that he had a high-pitched voice and little of his father’s easygoing charisma.
The world did not hear his voice until 1992 when he issued a one-liner while overlooking an enormous Armed Forces Day parade: “Glory to the heroic People’s Army!”
In his youth and middle age, there were stories about his playboy lifestyle. There were tales of lavish meals at a time his country was starving — his cook wrote a book after leaving the country — and his wavy hair and lifted heels, along with a passion for top-label liquor, made him the butt of jokes.
There was also speculation that he had been involved in the 1983 bombing of a South Korean political delegation in Burma, and that he had known of, and perhaps had ordered, the kidnapping of Japanese citizens. Nothing was ever proved.
Washington put North Korea on its list of state sponsors of terrorism after North Korean agents planted a bomb that blew up a South Korean passenger jet in 1987 — under instructions from Mr. Kim, according to one of the agents, who was caught alive.
Mr. Kim campaigned for power relentlessly. He bowed to his father at the front porch each morning and offered to put the shoes on the father’s feet long before he was elected to the Politburo, at age 32, in 1974, said Hwang Jang-yop, a former North Korean Workers’ Party secretary who had been a key aide for the Kim regime before his defection to Seoul in 1997.
“At an early age, Kim Jong-il mastered the mechanics of power,” Mr. Hwang said.
It was not until 1993, as the existence of the Yongbyon nuclear plant and North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions became publicly known, that Mr. Kim appeared to be his father’s undisputed successor. That year, he became head of the National Defense Commission, the North’s most powerful agency, in charge of the military.


NavyOne said...

Roh roh. Brace for unrest. . .