Kim Jong Il has died, and North Korea mourns his death. Kim Jong Il was reportedly born on 16 February 1941 in Khabarovsk, USSR, as the eldest son of Kim Il Sung and his first wife, Kim Jong Suk. The year of his birth has subsequently been changed to 1942 to make a more convenient 30-year age difference between himself and his father, and the place of his birth was altered to become a secret camp on Mt. Paektu in Samjiyon County, Ryanggang Province.
According to one North Korean government account, "General Kim Jong Il was a rare great man of Baekdu type who was born at Mt.Baekdu, the sacred mountain of our nation, and made an unusual growth amidst the special revolutionary education of his parents, brilliant commanders of Baekdu, as well as the practical training of the revolutionary struggle. He was said to have personified the revolutionary spirit, trait and nature of Mt.Baekdu. The revolutionary spirit of Mt.Baekdu personified by him is the spirit of independence associated with the soul of Baekdu, the spirit of gun inheriting the linage of Baekdu, the indefatigable revolutionary spirit replete with the mettle of Baekdu and the optimistic spirit consistent with cheerfulness of Baekdu.
North Korean sources reported that Kim Jong Il started work at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on 19 June 1964, at the age of 23 [22 by DPRK accounting]. The accuracy of this chronology cannot be independently confirmed, but it conveniently places the start of his party work at almost exactly 30 years prior to the death of Kim Il Sung in July 1994.
The junior Kim started out as a guidance officer in the party's cultural and propaganda departments, owing to his playful nature, and this stint was followed by creation of his own clique and involvement in personnel reshuffling in the Organization and Guidance Department. His involvement in purging Kim Il-sung's guerrilla cronies and those who were not personal friends of his father was his way of proving his loyalty to the elder Kim.