North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il dies of a heart attack at 69; son prepared to take over regime

North Koreans yesterday took to the streets in what seemed to be a highly orchestrated mass display of mourning, following the death of the country's dictator Kim Jong Il.

There is now a period of national mourning until December 29. Kim's funeral will be held on December 28.
His death caused a massive outpour of grief in the country. People on Pyongyang's streets wailed in grief, with many kneeling on the ground or bowing repeatedly.

Convulsing in pain: North Koreans sob at the news of the death of
their enigmatic leader Kim Jong Il. pic/afp

Shaking wildly, Hong Son Ok shouted, "How could the heavens be so cruel? Please come back, general. We cannot believe you're gone".

The 69-year-old died of a heart attack while on a train on Saturday -- and despite starving millions of his citizens for many years of his rule -- a wild outpouring of grief saw people collapsing and bursting into tears. His death has prompted South Korea and Japan to put their militaries on 'high alert' -- with the US saying it could postpone decisions on re-engaging North Korea in nuclear talks and providing it with food aid.
And in a development likely to worry western observers, the state yesterday test-fired a short-range missile on its eastern coast.
Meanwhile, the official news agency said the country 'must faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong Un'.

Things you didn't know of Kim
>> Perhaps one of the reasons the North Korean leader was so reclusive was his fear of flying, which he inherited from his father, Kim Il-sung. Kim rarely travelled abroad, and when he did it was by train - once taking a luxury rail car all the way to Moscow.

>> It is reported that Kim's official biography on the North Korean state web site, which has since been taken down, claimed that Kim did not defecate. Enough said.

A parody on Kim
A Hollywood film, Team America, depicting Kim Jong-il as an out of touch and faintly ludicrous dictator has become one of the most talked about topics on Twitter in the wake of the North Korean leader's death. It depicts Kim as an evil dictator attempting to conquer the world while openly mocking his limited English.