Kim Jong-il

Feb 16, 1941 - Dec 17, 2011

Kim Jong-il was a North Korean politician who served as the second Supreme Leader of North Korea from 1994 to 2011. He led North Korea from the 1994 death of his father Kim Il-sung, the first Supreme Leader, until his own death in 2011, when he was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-un.
In the early 1980s, Kim had become the heir apparent for the leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and assumed important posts in the party and army organs. Kim succeeded his father and DPRK founder Kim Il-sung, following the elder Kim's death in 1994. Kim was the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, WPK Presidium, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, the fourth-largest standing army in the world.
Kim ruled North Korea as a repressive and totalitarian dictatorship. Kim assumed leadership during a period of catastrophic economic crisis amidst the dissolution of the Soviet Union, on which it was heavily dependent for trade in food and other supplies, which brought a famine. While the famine had ended by the late 1990s, food scarcity continued to be a problem throughout his tenure.
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“We oppose the reactionary policies of the U.S. government but we do not oppose the American people. We want to have many good friends in the United States.”

Kim Jong-il
Feb 16, 1941 - Dec 17, 2011
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