North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il makes a surprise appearance at Sunan airport outside Pyongyang in this June 13, 2000 file photo. North Korea state television on December 19, 2011 announced that Kim has died. REUTERS/Pool/Files

North Korea said that its supreme leader Kim Jong Il has died, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.

The second-generation North Korean dictator was 70, according to reports.

Bloomberg reported that Yonhap reported that news of Kim Jong Il's death came via a radio broadcast at noon local time.

South Korean news reports stated that Kim Jong Il might have had a stroke in August 2008 and may have also gotten pancreatic cancer, according to Bloomberg.

It has been reported that Kim jong Il, the son of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, was a chain-smoker. He took power in 1994 and ruled for 17 years. In order to protect his regime, the supreme leader never opened up to outside influences, Bloomberg reported.

Reports are that Kim Jong Il's designated successor is his third son, Kim Jong-woon. Little is known about the potential successor but it is thought that Kim Jong-woon is in his late 20s, the BBC reported.