North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died of a heart attack at the age of 69.
Now listen to the mesmerizing sounds of people mourning the loss of this psychotic despot:
And here are 50 fascinating facts about Kim Jong-il
from Dec. 19, 2011 issue of The Telegraph, although, I believe the word “fact” should often be taken within a certain light.
1 According to his biography, he first picked up a golf club in 1994, at North Korea’s only golf course, and shot a 38-under par round that included no fewer than 11 holes in one. Satisfied with his performance, he reportedly immediately declared his retirement from the sport.
2 He was a near-obsessive film buff with a reported collection of 20,000 plus video tapes.
3 Kim, thought to be 5ft 2in (157cm) tall, is said to have worn lifts in his shoes and sported a bouffant hairstyle
4 He was suspected of killing his younger brother Kim Shu-ra when he was five after the child drowned in the family’s swimming pool in their Pyongyang mansion. The claims were never proved.
5 He was born on Feb. 16, 1942 aged 69, in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain, on the North Korean border, his official biography says. But Soviet records claim he was born on February 16, 1941 in the village of Vyatskoye, in Russia, where his parents were in exile during the Japanese occupation of Korea.
6 North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world. According to the US State Department, it has an estimated active duty military force of up to 1.2 million personnel, compared to about 680,000 in the South, with about one in five of men aged 17-54 in the regular armed forces.
7 In 1960, he began to study at the politics and economics department of Kim Il-sung University and graduated four years later.
8 His survivors are believed to include five children. The youngest, Kim Jong-un, is expected to eventually succeed him.
9 His eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, once believed to be the designated heir, appeared to have fallen out of favour after being arrested in Tokyo in 2001 while travelling to Disneyland on a forged passport .
10 According to his official biographers, his birth in Baekdu Mountain was prophesied by a swallow and heralded with a double rainbow and a new star in the heavens.
11 Kim was eight when his mother, Kim Jong-suk, died in childbirth, according to his official biography, although there are suggestions that his mother died of gunshot wounds.
12 He was known by more than 50 names including Dear Leader, Supreme Leader, Our Father, The General, Generalissimo.
13 He is said to have broadcast once in his country – in 1992, during a military parade in Pyongyang, he said into a microphone at the grandstand: “Glory to the heroic soldiers of the Korean People’s Army!” Applause broke out in the crowds and the parade participants cheered.
14 Nine years later, he was elected secretary of the committee before in becoming a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee in February 1974.
15 He was hailed as a demigod in North Korea while South Korea portrayed him as a vain playboy with a penchant for bouffant hair, jumpsuits and platform shoes designed to make him look taller.
16 The dictator travelled by private train for state visits – a decision believed to be connected to his apparent fear of flying, a phobia he was believed to share with his father.
17 In December 1992 he was Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, First Vice-Chairman and later Chairman of the National Defence Commission before being re-appointed in April 1993.
18 On Oct. 8, 1997, Kim Jong-il was elected General Secretary of the WPK.
19 Kim Jong Il was given the honorary title “Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” in 1975 and then again seven years later.
20 In April 1992, he was given the title of Marshal of the DPRK. He has also received the Kim Il-sung Order three times and many other awards and honours.
21 After the death of his father Kim Il-sung in July 1994, it took three years for Kim to consolidate his power and finally take the title of General Secretary of the Workers’ Party.
22 Because, at his death, his father was named “Eternal President,” Kim never officially became president of North Korea.
23 Since October 1980, he has been a member of the Presidium of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Committee of the WPK and the Central Military Commission.
24 Between 1982 and 1998, he was deputy to every Supreme People’s Assembly.
25 His private train journeys were as luxurious as befitted a leader of North Korea, despite the millions left behind starving due to famine: one Russian emissary who travelled across Russia by train with Kim described how live lobsters were airlifted daily to his train.
26 He started working for the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in 1964.
27 At university it was claimed in his biography that he wrote no fewer than 1,500 books in three years
28 His all time favourites including Rambo, Friday the 13th, Godzilla and “The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love”.
29 He was said to be a particular fan of Elizabeth Taylor, the late Hollywood actress.
30 Kim ordered the kidnapping of Shin Sang-ok, the South Korean film director, and his actress wife, Choi Eun-hee, in 1978 in order to build up North Korea’s film industry. They made seven films before escaping to the West in 1986.
31 Kim apparently produced a patriotic 100-part documentary series on the history of his North Korean homeland as well as writing a book titled On the Art of Cinema.
32 Kim also apparently composed six operas and enjoyed staging musicals.
33 He was the main villain in Hollywood film, Team America.
34 He is said to have owned at least 17 opulent mansions
35 He reportedly spread the myth across North Korea that he could control the weather with his moods, as if by magic.
36 Kim had female staff inspect each grain of rice to check it adhered to standards of length, weight and colour.
37 He forced waitresses at restaurants frequented by foreigners in Pyongyang to have cosmetic surgery in order to appear more “western”.
38 He reportedly drank £450,000 of cognac each year in a country where average income was about £580.
39 A recent new list of luxury imports now also reveals a penchant for Chinese dolphins, French poodles, and African aphrodisiacs and is said to have developed a palate for Donkey meat as well lobster and expensive French wine.
40 A personality evaluation report on him, compiled by psychiatrists suggested that the “big six” group of personality disorders – sadistic, paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, schizoid and schizotypal – which were shared by dictators Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein were also dominant in the late North Korean leader.
41 Minju Joson, a North Korean newspaper, reported once that Kim invented a product described as “double bread with meat” and created factories to produce them in order to feed his students and teachers. Some observers noted it was very similar to an American-hamburger.
42 Satellite imagery recently showed that he had installed a series of loopy waterslides.
43 The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is considered one of the most secretive countries in the world.
44 It is said to have acquired its nuclear programme from the Soviet Union in the 1980s
45 Estimates of the size of its nuclear weapons stockpile range from low single digits to just more than a dozen but there is no certainty the country has built a working bomb.
46 North Korea has faced a tightening international sanctions regime since 2009 after it conducted a series of illegal nuclear and ballistic missile tests, allegedly torpedoed a South Korea corvette and shelled a South Korean Island.
47 Its economy is reeling under the impact of UN sanctions and a series of natural disasters, according to data published South Korea’s central bank.
48 Statistics showed North Korea’s economy contracted for a second consecutive year in 2010 despite the North’s leadership promising to deliver their country to the “gateway of a mighty and prosperous nation” by next year.
49 The 23.9 million North Korean citizens are not able to freely use mobile phones or the Internet (with the internet domain .kp) although Kim considers himself to be a communications expert.
50 It is a mainly atheist or non-religious country with traditional beliefs with the UN estimating that men live on average 76 years and women 83 years.
North Korean State Media (Creators). rkcrkprk99 (Poster) (2011, Dec. 19). North Koreans weeping hysterically over the death of Kim Jong-il [Video] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pSWN6Qj98Iw
Telegraph Media Group Limited. (2011, Dec 19). 50 fascinating facts: Kim Jong-il and North Korea. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/8965694/50-fascinating-facts-Kim-Jong-il-and-North-Korea.html