PBS FRONTLINE: KIM'S NUCLEAR GAMBLE 2 OF 3

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PBS FRONTLINE: KIM'S NUCLEAR GAMBLE PART 2 OF 3

WHO IS KIM JONG ILL?

Kim Jong-il (also written as Kim Jong Il) (born February 16, 1942) is the leader of North Korea. He is the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (the ruling party since 1948). He succeeded his father Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea, who died in 1994.

Continuing the official ideology of Juche (self-reliance) established by his father, Kim Jong-il operates out of a secretive and restrictive North Korea - criticized for human rights abuses and controversy over its nuclear projects.

Kim Jong-il has been routinely criticized by world governments and international NGOs for human rights abuses carried out under his rule, as well as for North Korea's production of nuclear weapons, contrary to previous legal, international obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and his own commitment to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. Camp 22 is North Korea's largest concentration camp, where up to 50,000 men, women and children accused of political "crimes" are held. Reports of gross violations of human rights by the guards have been reported, such as murdering babies born to inmates.

Kim's expensive taste has become a media target. In the context of United Nations sanctions restricting the trade in luxury items to North Korea following the country's October 2006 nuclear test, Reuters coverage noted that "No one enjoys luxury goods more than paramount leader Kim Jong-il, who boasts the country's finest wine cellar with space for 10,000 bottles. Kim has a penchant for fine food such as lobster, caviar and the most expensive cuts of sushi that he has flown in to him from Japan." His annual purchases of Hennessy cognac reportedly total to $700,000, while the average North Korean earns the rough estimate equivalent of $900 per year.

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