Gadhafi was beaten and killed after he was chased down by rebel soldiers on October 20, 2011. His convoy had been bombed and scattered by U.S. and French airstrikes only moments earlier. Gadhafi holds the unfortunate (for him) distinction of being the only Middle Eastern national leader who was killed during the Arab Spring.
U.S. President Barack Obama has called his failure to plan for the consequences of Gadhafi's downfall the worst mistake of his presidency. But he has said he still believes military intervention was the "right thing to do".
It's highly likely that Kim keeps Gadhafi's unfortunate end in mind, and it deters him and his North Korean leaders from surrendering their own nuclear weapons, according to experts.
"We see in Libya and Iraq countries who gave up their WMD programs, and foreign power campaigns that led to a regime change," said Dr. Guo Yu, principal Asia analyst at global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. "To safeguard against that, North Korea (is) firmly in the belief that they need to have credible nuclear deterrent, and they believe that as a sovereign country they have the right to do so."
Kim is also "watching what's been happening in the Middle East, and the external military interventions — mostly led by the U.S. — which are interested in regime change and just reinforce the mindset for pursuing independent credible nuclear deterrence," Yu said.
During a visit to Libya's former colonial ruler Italy in 2009, Gaddafi remarked: "We had hoped Libya would be an example to other countries … But we have not been rewarded by the world."