n 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
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- The worrying rise of the anti-vaccination movement
Subscribe to the Week