North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Passes Away After 14 Year Rule

"Supreme Leader" following father Kim Il Sung's death in 1994, son Kim Jong Un to follow him

Going to take a serious business approach to this one guys:


Within the past hour, reports have been flowing in from all over the world confirming the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was said to have died from a heart attack due to overwork on Saturday according to state media network Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).


Kim Jong Il took power in 1994, following his father's death, but did not fully consolidate power until 1998 when the Constitution was rewritten to make Kim Il Sung "Eternal President" while Jong-Il took the simultaneous positions of General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defense Commission, effectively making him the ultimate head of state until now. His date of birth is also a source of contention as two differing sets of records claim that he was born on one of two dates, either February 16th 1941 according to old Soviet records or February 16th 1942 according to DPRK records.


His rule was one marked by the race to develop nuclear capabilities at the expense of the country, save for the military, which he began to favor with the implementation of the "Military First" policy that focused resources on the military (4th largest standing) while the lack of development in terms of arable land for farming and infrastructure combined with the command economy meant that the country was almost exclusively dependent on foreign food aid, which was almost always diverted to the military.


By 2000, slight changes in his foreign and domestic policies meant that small scale markets and trade could be conducted, with  foreign policy marked by an assumed thawing of relations with South Korea as a result of the aforementioned countries' "Sunshine Policy" of improved North-South relations. Another key issue dominating his rule were reports of human rights abuses, most directed towards the general population.


By 2008, Jong-Il became less stable after a stroke and saw his influence wane considerably in the wake of the Six Party Nuclear Proliferation Talks which were meant to persuade North Korea from further developing the capability to possess nuclear arms and were always a source of frustration for world leaders due to Jong-il's attitude, which ranged from petulant to completely irrational. In recent years, Jong-Il was less prominent and almost seemed to disappear, until the 2010 Party appointment of his third son, Kim Jong-Un, who was educated in Switzerland.


Now with the death of Jong-Il, the world waits with bated breath as to North Korea's next move, with South Korea itself on high alert and the rest of the world anxious to see what will happen. Stock markets have also reacted accordingly to the news, with lower opening trade volumes as the countries around North Korea hope for the best and prepare for the worst.


via Yonhap

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