On Saturday, North Korea's "utterly ruthless" and infinitely intriguing ruler, Kim Jong Il, died at the age of 69. The man who led the secretive, poverty-stricken communist state for 17 years is as much a mystery in death as he was in life. But some things are known. From his brutal childhood to his rise to power to his diplomatic trials, here, a look back at Kim Jong Il's life in pictures.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: October 24, 2014
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
Subscribe to the Week