Kim Jong-il passes away at 69, succeeded by son

Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s polarizing political and military leader since 1994, has died, according to the North Korean government. His son, Kim Jong-un, has assumed power.

Kim assumed power after his father, Kim Il-sung, passed away of a heart attack at the age of 82. Kim Jong-il had been a high-ranking leader in the North Korean Workers’ Party since 1980, and was worshiped by his people, who often referred to him as “Dear Leader.” His birthday is one of the most important holidays in the country, and propaganda from the North Korean government has created an aura of invincibility surrounding him.

North Korean state-controlled media reports that Kim regularly shoots multiple hole-in-ones during a round of golf, and he controls the weather of the country based on his mood. He also claimed to have written several musicals, and considers himself an “internet expert.”

He’s also known for extreme paranoia regarding his personal safety. He travels by armored train, and refuses to consume any food or drink produced outside North Korea – with the notable exception of French wine.

Meanwhile, western governments, including the U.S., have denounced Kim’s treatment of his people. North Korea has been one of the world’s poorest countries in recent years.

Some western psychologists have concluded that Kim suffered from the same personality disorder Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Saddam Hussein suffered from, a mixture of schizophrenia, narcissism, and paranoia, among others.

Reports emerged in January that Kim had become more indecisive, and his health may have been failing.

Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s son, has been working as his father’s heir-apparent since September.

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