Kim Jong-il, North Korean Leader, Is Dead

Kim Jong-il, the reclusive North Korean leader who has been battling ill health following a reported stroke in 2008, has died, the North’s official news media reported on Monday.

“Our great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il passed away at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 17,” Korean Central TV reported.

Mr. Kim was 69 years old. Since he reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008, he has been grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, to be his successor, as his country struggled to fight widespread food shortages and international sanctions imposed for its nuclear weapons development.

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