Videos/Tweets: Weeping and Laughing for the 'Dear Leader'

North Koreans have entered 12 days of mourning in honor of their longtime leader Kim Jong Il — a complex dictator known as much for pursuing nuclear weaponry while his people starved as his zippered jumpsuits and obsession with Hennessy cognac.

On Monday, state television reported that the 69-year-old “Dear Leader” died from a heart attack on Saturday. A tearful newscaster made the announcement in this video below:

Within hours of the news, North Korean state TV released a message urging people to unite behind Kim’s baby-faced youngest son, the enigmatic Kim Jong Un. Another video showing crowds of mourning citizens in Pyongyang was released. The Washington Post questioned the authenticity of the grief. Take a look for yourself. What do you think?

As news of Kim’s death swept the internet, not everyone was quite so teary. In what seemed like a 140-character stand-up show, professional comedians, journalists and just plain funny people took to Twitter to crack jokes about the personal eccentricities of the late dictator:

About the Author

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Shreeya Sinha is an award-winning Journalist, Multimedia Producer and Social Media Editor for Asia Society. She was raised in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.