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      North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, 69, has died

      In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il salutes soldiers while watching a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

      SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Kim Jong Il, North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic leader, has died. He was 69.

      Kim's death was announced Monday by the state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

      Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008 but appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media.

      The leader, reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine, was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.