North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dead

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong-il on August 24, 2011

The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, has died according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The cause of death was "advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated by serious heart shock," commonly known as a heart attack. Kim apparently died two days earlier on December 17 aboard a train. According to North Korean media, Kim was 69. However, other records from the former Soviet Union place his age at 70.

At the same time, Kim's son, Kim Jong-un has been named as the "Great Successor" by North Korean state media. Citizens are being told they "must faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong-un. At the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-un, we have to change sadness to strength and courage and overcome today's difficulties," according to KCNA.

According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's military is on "emergency alert" following a meeting by South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). According to a JCS official, "We're keeping close tabs on the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Joint Security Area (JSA) and Northern Limit Line (NLL) for possibilities of North Korean provocations."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak also presided over a meeting. A statement from Lee's office said, "The government will remain thoroughly prepared while keeping a close watch over the situation in North Korea. The government will also cooperate closely with the international community to maintain peace and safety on the Korean Peninsula."