Manila, Philippines: Navy personnel carried an empty coffin that will be transported to flood-stricken cities, along with other relief goods like drinking water and clothes. Nearly a thousand people died in massive flash floods when a tropical storm hit the country last week.
Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean dictator who defied global condemnation to build nuclear weapons while his people starved, has died, state media reported. A government statement called on North Koreans to “loyally follow” his son, Kim Jong Un.
Kim, 70, died on Dec. 17 of a heart attack brought on by mental and physical strain while on a domestic train trip, the official Korean Central News Agency said. Kim probably had a stroke in August 2008 and may have also contracted pancreatic cancer, according to South Korean news reports.
The son of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder, Kim was a chain-smoking recluse who ruled for 17 years after coming to power in July 1994 and resisted opening up to the outside world in order to protect his regime. The likely succession of his little-known third son, Jong Un, threatens to trigger a dangerous period for the Korean peninsula, where 1.7 million troops from the two Koreas and the U.S. square off every day.
“Kim Jong Un’s taking complete control of the helm will not take place for a while due to his youth and inexperienced leadership,” said Yang Moo Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “The North will likely be under the control of a governing body for about a year.”
A state television announcer wept as she read the news of Kim’s death. Footage was aired of thousands of people in the main square of the capital of Pyongyang chanting in unison and waving Kimjongilia, a flower named after the deceased leader.
Arthur “Art” Clokey (October 12, 1921 – January 8, 2010) was a pioneer in the popularization of stop motion clay animation, beginning in 1955 with a film experiment called Gumbasia, influenced by his professor, Slavko Vorkapich, at the University of Southern California.