North Korean television reports that Kim Jong-Il is dead at the age of 69. According to NBC's Jo Ling Kent the announcer on state TV was dressed in all black which "never happens." As we continue to learn more regarding the circumstances of the North Korean dictator's death, a few things to know:
1. In 2009 Kim Jong-Il reportedly picked his youngest son to succeed him.
2. Forget "President;" Kim Jong-Il had a lot of titles.
3. Vaclav Havel once wrote a stirring profile of Kim Jong-Il's sickening cruelty toward his own people.
4. You can follow North Korean state TV here.
5. NBC's Andrea Mitchell says the Obama administration has no official comment yet. But it's China everyone's waiting to hear from.
6. South Korea has placed its military on alert.
7. As many a Twitterer has noted, it's been a bad year for dictators, terrorists and mass murderers.
UPDATE: One more thing, msnbc.com has put together a great Kim Jong-Il photo gallery
UPDATE II: U.S. officials tell NBC News that American military forces in South Korea have not changed their alert status in the wake of Kim Jong-Il's death.