Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Politics

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Dead at 70 518

Posted by timothy
from the trying-to-contain-my-tears dept.
As reported by numerous sources, Kim Jong Il has died at the age of 70 (69 by some tallies), after 17 years as the brutal head of North Korea. While the cause of death is uncertain, Bloomberg News says "Kim probably had a stroke in August 2008 and may have also contracted pancreatic cancer, according to South Korean news reports."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Dead at 70

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:27AM (#38421508)

    Let us take this opportunity to thank the Dear Leader, who sacrificed his life for the socialist paradise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:27AM (#38421510)

    Kim Jong Il is now Kim Jong Dead.

    • by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:15AM (#38421796)

      Didn't your momma ever teach you never to speak il of the dead?

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday December 19, 2011 @04:07AM (#38422206) Homepage Journal

        Yes, I see the "speak il".

        But, yes, my momma did teach me not to speak ill of the dead. And, I defied her in other ways, too.

        Bye, Kim, we won't miss you at all. And, I hope the people are soon having rock and roll bands playing in your palaces, dancing with joy that you're gone.

        And, yes, yes, yes - I'm aware that isn't likely to happen. The new Kim seems like a little putz, and he has to answer to an insane regime all the same. He couldn't throw parties for the people if he wanted to.

        • Re:Good Riddance (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jamesh (87723) on Monday December 19, 2011 @04:22AM (#38422254)

          Bye, Kim, we won't miss you at all.

          Lets wait and see to who steps in to fill his shoes... you may find you miss him more than you'd think.

          • by Phoghat (1288088)
            "Meet the new boss Same as the old boss"
          • Re:Good Riddance (Score:5, Informative)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:50AM (#38423778) Journal

            Exactly. Word is the kid he was originally grooming to be the next strong man ended up in China after trying to sneak into Japan so Dear leader was left with a third string bastard kid he had with some dancer to be the heir. Word has been for years that the military wasn't too keen on the idea of a third chapter to the Kim dynasty and the little third stringer doesn't have the brass balls nor the power base to stand up to the generals. And let us not forget it was those very same generals that are pushing for the nukes at any cost.

            My guess is after a set mourning period, say 60 or 90 days depending on how impatient the generals are, the third stringer will be declared an "enemy of the Juce ideal" and be promptly exiled or possibly shot, followed by a serious power struggle between the top brass. If China was smart they'd use that opportunity to put their own puppet in power, after all they have to deal with sharing a border with NK.

            Either way i have the feeling the NK people are about to get it even worse than they did under Dear leader. Kim may have been nuts but his generals are pretty damned brutal and a fight for the throne between them will be seriously ugly and I doubt the third stringer can rally enough support to take the big chair. let us not forget we are talking about a seriously unstable regime with nukes, not a good combo IMHO.

    • by SharkLaser (2495316) on Monday December 19, 2011 @03:33AM (#38422112) Journal
      Kim Jong Il [classicfun.ws]
    • by Pikoro (844299) <[hs.tini] [ta] [tini]> on Monday December 19, 2011 @03:39AM (#38422136) Homepage Journal

      Perhaps he had an electric fan running on that train? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death [wikipedia.org]

      Also, news here in Japan is reporting he had a heart attack. Over-stressed indeed.

  • It's a big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by BiggerBadderBen (947100) <biggerbadderben@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:28AM (#38421512)
    Do you know how fucking important this guy was?
    • Re:It's a big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by M. Baranczak (726671) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:51AM (#38421678)

      Taking a brutal dictator seriously is exactly the wrong approach. I'd rather remember him as a supporting character in a lowbrow puppet comedy. I won't bother to post the YouTube link, since there's already two or three up here.

      • Re:It's a big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ChatHuant (801522) on Monday December 19, 2011 @06:28AM (#38422608)

        Taking a brutal dictator seriously is exactly the wrong approach. I'd rather remember him as a supporting character in a lowbrow puppet comedy.

        That's nice, as long as neither you nor your family or friends can be touched by the ridiculous little man's army or secret police. If you lived in NK though, you'd take him much more seriously.
         
        Please understand - I'm not trying to criticize you; I just personally feel uneasy dismissing Kim with a laugh or a shrug from the safety of the USA, even though sometimes he seemed to make a special effort to build himself into a caricature. But then I remember some footage I saw on the BBC a few years ago, supposedly smuggled from NK, showing the summary executions of a few people from a small village and I don't really feel like laughing anymore.

    • Re:It's a big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467) * on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:05AM (#38421748) Homepage Journal

      Some 0.1 percent of his subjects will now kill themselves in mourning. Is that enough of an appreciation of how important he was?

      He was a bad man. bent on nuclear proliferation and providing arms to our enemies. He starved millions of his own people to death. He dedicated something like 1.5 million man-years to the reception of former US president Jimmy Carter.

      That's moot now. His son may be coherent, or the military cabal that kills him may be. The news item is that the situation just became fluid. I hope the State department isn't on Christmas break for this one.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by JimboFBX (1097277) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:28AM (#38421518)

    "Kim probably had a stroke in August 2008 and may have also contracted pancreatic cancer, according to South Korean news reports."

    The newspaper continued... "We aren't sure which blow dart hit him but it was probably both"

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by mjwx (966435) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:03AM (#38421740)

      "Kim probably had a stroke in August 2008 and may have also contracted pancreatic cancer, according to South Korean news reports."

      The newspaper continued... "We aren't sure which blow dart hit him but it was probably both"

      That's what the papers said, we all know in truth he died from rownriness.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MartinSchou (1360093)

        Look, don't be an idiot and make fun of Asians and their general problems speaking proper English. I'm pretty sure you'd sound like an idiot when trying to speak an Asian language.

        Besides - it's just razy lacism.

        • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

          by mjwx (966435) on Monday December 19, 2011 @04:36AM (#38422312)

          Look, don't be an idiot and make fun of Asians and their general problems speaking proper English. I'm pretty sure you'd sound like an idiot when trying to speak an Asian language.

          Besides - it's just razy lacism.

          Erm, its a joke from Team America, you know, that comedy movie.

          As a person who speaks Thai, yes I know there are a lot of sounds that are very difficult to get, not to mention getting your head and tongue around the tonal part of the language, mai is a common word, it has five meanings depending on if it's said in high, low, mid, rising or falling tones. Compared to Thai, Korean is a very simple language so dont preach to me sunshine.

          Oh and please stop being such a humourless git.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:32AM (#38421536) Homepage Journal
    This is actually not a welcome event, the heir apparent is only 29 years old and hasn't really integrated himself into the communist party and army power structures. Compare that to his father who was 52 when Kim Il Sung died and had been filling various senior posts for at least a few decades by that point. A power struggle within the army/party could be bad as it could destabilize the country and/or convince the struggling powers to do something rash with the military in an attempt to curry favor. Guess we will have to wait and see.
    • by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:35AM (#38421562)
      I wonder what it will mean for Burma/Myanmar also. They're both trade embargoed by US countries that have done a lot of business together. It's rumored that there's been North Korean engineers working in Burma and building huge underground bases for nuclear weapon testing.
      • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:23AM (#38421832) Homepage

        US secretary of state Hillary Clinton just visited Burma to establish the beginnings of hopefully will be a long a productive relationship. Both for the US, and the people of Burma. But I don't like coincidence. Something tells me either the US or Burma knew Kim Jong Il was on his deathbed and they wanted to establish a plan 'B' ahead of time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Causing trouble abroad is a classic way to cement power at home: "Busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels".

    • by addie (470476) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:37AM (#38421580)

      I agree completely that this isn't welcome, but don't underestimate the degree to which Kim Jong Un has been integrated into the power structure. Although from April 2009, there's an excellent article on Foreign Policy [foreignpolicy.com] about the efforts to get him and his allies into key posts.

      Having lived in Korea for almost six years (but since moved away) this news is disturbing and unsettling. While I don't predict anything drastic like a war, Kim Jong Un is going to have to prove himself to the people. If that means sinking another ship like the Cheonan, or shelling another island, or worse... then everyone on the peninsula should be prepared.

    • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:21AM (#38421818) Homepage Journal
      It seems to me that unless you are going to prop up such regimes indefinitely then you have to countenance the possibility of messy change at some point and absent any specific risks at a given point in time the sooner they better as dangerous technologies (such as nuclear) are almost certainly going to be more commonplace the longer you leave it.
    • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:22AM (#38421820)

      Actually, this is probably good. It takes a lot of political skill to maintain a dictatorship in the face of all of the normal crises in addition to quelling uprisings. I'd make the argument that a dictator is the highest form of politician since you don't even have the legitimacy of a crown to validate your power. An unprepared heir to a dictator won't likely be able to maintain the current state. Odds are, the military has seen the damage done by KJI and will tack back to a more accessible government; assuming they take over.

    • by ianare (1132971)

      Indeed. But we can hope he will act more like King Carlos of Spain [wikipedia.org], who was put in power by Franco but instead of being an authoritarian, opened up the country to democracy. It can happen.

  • by Scott Swezey (678347) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:33AM (#38421546) Homepage

    North Korean State television Says Kim Jong Il died peacefully in his sleep while bowling a 300. (Via @NickGreene on Twitter)

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaceplanesfan (2120596) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:34AM (#38421548)

    World has now one asshole less.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:37AM (#38421584) Journal

    I'm so Ronery. [youtube.com]

  • by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:42AM (#38421626) Journal

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdug6yHJB40 [youtube.com]

    There are not enough dictators left in Asia to keep the yellow man down. It's terrifying. Why hasn't the CIA made more they have the technology!

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:50AM (#38421666) Homepage Journal

    Along with Bin Laden, Gaddafi, and Steve Jobs all inside a year.

    The world is still not running out of assholes.

  • Bonus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arunce (1934350) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:51AM (#38421672)

    2011 was a good year to dictators... what else can be said?

  • by Kagura (843695) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:11AM (#38421766)
    Update from inside North Korea: 12 Days of Mourning for Kim announced http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01700&num=8553 [dailynk.com]

    North Korea has announced that it has entered a period of formal mourning following the death of Kim Jong Il lasting from the 17th, the day of his passing, until the 29th.

    The news was released in a brief communiqué in the name of the ‘State Funeral Committee’.

    Chosun Central News Agency announced the news, stating, “The body of National Defense Commission Chairman Kim will lie in state at Kumsusan Memorial Palace during the period of mourning from the 17th to the 29th. Visitors will be received between the 20th and 27th. The ceremony for his parting will be performed on the 28th in Pyongyang.”

    “Central memorial meetings to honor Chairman Kim will open on the 29th,” it went on. “At that time in Pyongyang and sites in every province there will be an artillery salute and 3 minutes silence, and all official vehicles and vessels will sound their horns.”

    Second update: NK Borders Ordered Closed Before Death Announcement http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01700&num=8549 [dailynk.com]

    North Korean border guard units received orders at 1AM on the night of the 18th to close the border with China with immediate effect.

    An inside military source told Daily NK this morning, “At 1AM on the night of the 18th a ‘Special Guard’ order was handed down to the unit. All officers who had finished work were recalled to the base and have been on emergency duty ever since.”

    “At the time even commanding officers did not know about the contents of the order, and as per the order to completely close the border, normal patrols in groups of two were stepped up to groups of four. We only learned that the General had died from special broadcasts,” the source added.

    Thus, it is clear that the North Korean authorities took steps to avert civilian unrest and potential mass defection attempts by shutting down the border and reinforcing patrols prior to announcing Kim’s death.

    Third update: NK Shuts Down on News of Death http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=8552 [dailynk.com]

    Following the official announcement of Kim Jong Il's death today, North Korea has imposed rigid social controls, including the complete closure of markets.

    An inside source told Daily NK this lunchtime, "The jangmadang is closed and people are not allowed to go outside. Local Party secretaries are issuing special commands through local Union of Democratic Women unit chairwomen, and the chairwomen have been gathered at district offices for emergency meetings."

    According to the source, National Security Agency and People’s Safety Ministry agents have been deployed in streets and alleyways to control civilian movements. There have not been any signs of public unrest to date.

    Kim Jong Il's sudden death has apparently caught people off-guard, the source revealed, commenting, "Nobody had the slightest idea about the General’s death even right before they saw the broadcast. You can hear the sound of wailing outside."

    That news agency gets the majority of their info by cell phone conversation with North Koreans who live along the Chinese/Russian border, which is how we're able to get updates from the inside.

    • by martas (1439879) on Monday December 19, 2011 @05:13AM (#38422398)

      You can hear the sound of wailing outside.

      You know, that's pretty fucking depressing. Not Kim's death, that's a reason to celebrate; but much like when Stalin died, it's really fucked to see the people actually, honestly mourning... Makes you wonder about a few things, doesn't it?

      • by Millennium (2451)

        The man had a cult of personality, and this is what cults of personality do. The same happened for Stalin, Mao, and Kim Il-Sung. It'll probably happen for Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez too, when they die.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Monday December 19, 2011 @02:13AM (#38421778)

    They would have a field day with this.

    • He should now show up in South Park depictions of Hell along side other celebrities like Steve Irwin, Gandhi and Saddam Hussein. OK, Saddam got there before his actual death, but he was Satan's butt puppet.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Monday December 19, 2011 @05:05AM (#38422388) Homepage

    So is it now time for Kim Jong III to take the throne?

    Ill hear No Ill spoken of sans-serif fonts, thank you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @05:32AM (#38422462)

    Under State Communism, the elite declare that they own as much as possible so the population are turned into desperate slaves. There are a dwindling few in the middle who insist that life is dandy under State Communism because they were intelligent, unscrupulous and obeisant enough to get ahead, and that "at least it's not like Western Capitalism" where people are left to wither. Man exploits man.

    Under Western Capitalism, the elite declare that they own as much as possible so the population are turned into desperate slaves. There are a dwindling few in the middle who insist that life is dandy under Western Capitalism because they were intelligent, unscrupulous and obeisant enough to get ahead, and that "at least it's not like State Communism" where people are forced to work. Man exploits man.

    At least when we see news reports about how great our country is/isn't we can go around and check to see how much the media is lying. We have to be very unchoosy in where we visit in order to get a full picture, and few of us are willing to do that - it takes time and is sometimes quite dangerous - but at least we can obtain some approximation. None of us know much about NK at all beyond obvious Western propaganda and occasional isolated reports. Yet we are much quicker to assume and to condemn than to campaign for more information. Isn't it so easy to say, "Guy X in Arabia/Asia is evil because I have a tweet saying so - let me retweet that and feel part of the neoliberation movement" ? Isn't it easy to assume that what occupies that power vacuum will be better - Mission has been Accomplished so many times over the past decade, hasn't it?

  • Not so great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gustgr (695173) <rondinaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday December 19, 2011 @05:35AM (#38422466) Homepage

    The saddest thing is that probably each and every citizen -- be them old, young, children, ill, healthy -- will have (as in obliged) to pay his or her visit to the funeral in order to say a last good bye, in a country with a terrible winter and where artificial heating is a luxury only available to the great members of the party. Perhaps even a little sadder is knowing that absolutely nothing will change, for his son has been trained since his early years to take on daddy's position and keep up with the realm of terror, not to mention that the old military leaders who were by KJI's side the whole time still remain.

    The positive thing about his death to the citizens of North Korea is to show them that despite of what their government have been saying, their leaders are not deities nor special in any way, and are prone to die just like any other human. I wonder how his death is being explained to citizens -- perhaps they are being taught that the dearest leader ascended to the skies after fulfilling his role as a guide to humanity.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

Working...