PYONGYANG (BNO NEWS) -- The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, died of physical fatigue on early Saturday morning, state-run media announced on Monday afternoon. He was 69 or 70 years old.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim died at around 8.30 a.m. local time on Saturday. It said he died of physical fatigue during a train ride, but gave no other details.
UPDATE 9:10pm - from Reuters:
SEOUL |(Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip, state media reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program.
A tearful television announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance."
Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's youngest son, is seen as the leader-in-waiting after he was appointed to senior political and military posts in 2010.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency said the elder Kim died at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday (6:30 p.m. EST on Friday) after "an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock." Kim had suffered a stroke in 2008, but had appeared to have recovered from that ailment. . . [continue here]
Soviet records show that Kim Jong-il was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941, where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles. Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife. Kim Jong-il's official biography states that he was born in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain in Japanese Korea on 16 February 1942. Official biographers claim that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow, and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star in the heavens. In 1945, Kim was three or four years old (depending on his birth year) when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan. His father returned to Pyongyang that September, and in late November Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong (선봉군, also Unggi). The family moved into a former Japanese officer's mansion in Pyongyang, with a garden and pool. Kim Jong-il's brother, "Shura" Kim (the first Kim Jong-il, but known by his Russian nickname), drowned there in 1948. Unconfirmed reports suggest that five-year-old Kim Jong-il might have caused the accident. In 1949, his mother died in childbirth. Unconfirmed reports suggest that his mother might have been shot and left to bleed to death.. . [More here.]And the New York Times weighs in with a lengthy piece.