Kim Jong Il, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who kept the world on eggshells with his threats of nuclear capability and quirky habit of locking up any reporter who tried to enter North Korea, was pronounced dead at 69 late this Sunday evening.This announcement was made by the state’s media outlet KCNA, located out of the capital of Pyongyang.
The cause of death, according to the state media, was a heart attack due to “great mental and physical strain” while on a field tour. Kim Jong Il had suffered a stroke in 2008, but was generally thought to have been in good health. Except for that one year when everyone thought that he was dying from pancreatic cancer.
The news of Kim Jong Il’s death means that it is time for the successor he named in 2009 to take charge: best of luck to his 28-year-old 3rd son, Kim Jong Un.
So far, the major media outlets are playing this one pretty close to the chest. Is anyone sad that Kim Jong Il is dead? Will his son be any less crazy than he was? (Bringing to mind the old Onion headline: “Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He’s Crazy Enough To Run North Korea.”) During these uncertain times, South Korea has put its military on high alert, markets have begun to tank (though the dollar is doing pretty well, for once), and Margaret Cho is scurrying to find a new celebrity impersonation to play on 30 Rock.