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South Korea claims Kim Jong-il's death was 'stage managed'

THE North Korean government may have lied about the time and place of Kim Jong-il's death, the head of South Korea's intelligence service has suggested.

State television said the dictator had suffered a heart attack and passed away at 8.30am on Saturday while on a moving train during an inspection and "field guidance" tour.

The apparent manner of his death -- in service to the nation -- was cited by some of his thousands of mourners as a factor compounding their grief.

The state news agency said mourners were pointing to his death on duty as evidence of his "total dedication to the happiness of the people".

But head of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, Won Sei-hoon, said footage showed that the dictator's train, on which he is said to have died, did not move over the weekend.

It has been suggested the death had been "stage managed" to bolster his legacy and the standing of his son and successor Kim Jung-un, and that the dictator may have passed away at his official residence.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un will have to share power with his uncle and the military, as the country shifts to collective rule from strongman dictatorship, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added the military, which is trying to develop a nuclear arsenal, has pledged allegiance to Kim Jong-un, who takes over the family dynasty that has ruled since it was founded after World War Two.

He also said Beijing was only notified of Kim Jong-il's death on Monday -- the same day that North Korean state television broadcast the news -- despite the fact he died last Saturday. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent