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2011 World News: North Korea

Major World News Stories of 2011


Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-il

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Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011. "Dear Leader," as Kim was known to North Koreans, had been in power since 1994 and presided over his isolated country through a devastating flood that claimed between 2 million and 3 million citizens in the 1990s and left the economy in shambles. He taunted the U.S. and the international community with his dogged pursuit of nuclear weapons. Kim had previously named his third son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor. The new leader was given the title "Great Successor." Kim's death and Kim Jong-un's ascendance put the world on high alert as a power struggle or an attempt by Kim Jong-un to prove his mettle could create a dangerous situation in an already unstable country that has long harbored nuclear ambitions.

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