Kim Jong Il through the years

Updated 10:22 AM ET, Tue December 20, 2011
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The body of Kim Jong Il lies in a glass coffin at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday, December 20. Thirteen days of nationwide mourning will take place for Kim, who died Saturday, December 17. AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Un, center, son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, pays his respects to his father with senior officials from the military and Korean Workers' Party. AFP/Getty Images
South Korean politician Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of the late military ruler Park Chung-hee, meets with Kim Jong Il on a trip to North Korea in 2002. AFP/Getty Images/file
Former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and his son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Il, attend a party to celebrate the sixth Korean Workers' Party convention in October 1980. AFP/Getty Images
Kim Il Sung, right, stands with his son, Kim Jong Il, in November 1986. Kim Jong Il held a number of important positions in the 1980s and 1990s on North Korea's Central Committee, in the Politburo and in the Party Secretariat. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
This Korean Central News Agency photo shows Kim Jong Il with his father, Kim Il Sung, in February, 1992, visiting a mine during an "on-the-spot" guidance tour. Kim was named commander in chief of North Korea's military in 1991, and he would succeed his father in 1994 as leader of the country. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il toast each other at a lunch on June 15, 2000 held, in Pyongyang, North Korea. This was the first meeting of the leaders of the two countries. Getty Images
In another first, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright pays a visit to North Korea in October 2000, the first time a U.S. secretary of state has done so. AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Il was the chairman of the National Defence Commission, which is the nation's highest position. The term "president" is reserved for Kim Jong Il's late father, Kim Il Sung. AFP/Getty Images
In October 2007, another meeting between North and South Korea's leaders -- this time between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, left, and Kim Jong Il. AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, and his son Kim Jong Un meet with a group of Chinese officers during a visit to Pyongyang in October, 2010. Reports begin to surface that Kim Jong Il will name his third and youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Il posing with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his delegation members in Pyongyang on August 4, 2009. Clinton was in North Korea to secure the release of detained American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Little is known about Kim Jong Un, shown here inspecting the construction site of the Huichon Power Station in Jagang Province in 2010. In early 2010, it was announced that Jong Un's birthday would be celebrated as a national holiday in North Korea. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Il is re-elected as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in September 2010. He promotes his son, Kim Jong Un, and his sister, Kim Kyong Hui, to the rank of general. Here, Kim and son pose with soldiers of the Korean Poeple's Army unit 4304 in October, 2011. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shakes hands with Kim Jong Il at Ulan-Ude in Russia's Buryatia on August 24, 2011, during a visit by Jong Il to eastern Russia. KNS/AFP/Getty Images