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December 19, 2011 12:04 am

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Is Dead

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Kim Jong Il.

WSJ – SEOUL—Kim Jong Il, the dictator who used fear and isolation to maintain power in North Korea and the threat of nuclear weapons to menace his neighbors and the U.S., has died, North Korean state television reported early Monday.

His death opens a new and potentially dangerous period of transition and instability for North Korea and northeast Asia. Mr. Kim in September 2010 tapped his youngest son to succeed him, though it isn’t known whether the son will take control right away.

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