Aug. 24, 2011: Kim listens to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, during a summit meeting at a military garrison in eastern Siberia.
PYONGYANG, North Korea – Even as the world changed around him, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il remained firmly in control, ruling absolutely at home and keeping the rest of the world on edge through a nuclear weapons program.
Inheriting power from his father, he led his country through a devastating famine while frustrating the U.S. and other global powers with an on-again, off-again approach to talks on giving up nuclear weapons in return for food and other assistance. Kim was one of the last remnants of a Cold War era that ended years earlier in most other parts of the world. Full story. Reaction in North Korea.