Kim Jong Il

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Kim Jong Un's New Claim: We've Got an H-Bomb

Naturally, there are skeptics

(Newser) - North Korea is known for talking tough when it comes to its nukes, and remarks made by Kim Jong Un Thursday fanned the flames. While touring a museum dedicated to his father and grandfather, the self-proclaimed Supreme Leader suggested that North Korea now has a hydrogen bomb. Grandfather Kim Il... More »

What N. Korean Kids Learn: Kim Jong Un Drove at 3

Kim Jong Un, boy genius, also won yacht races at age 9, per new curriculum

(Newser) - Parents outraged by Common Core can at least be glad their kids aren't being schooled in North Korea. The Telegraph reports that middle school and high school teachers there have been issued a manual to use while teaching a new subject for 2015: "Kim Jong Un's Revolutionary... More »

Kim Jong Un's Eyebrows Are Shrinking

They've gotten shorter between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2014

(Newser) - Kim Jong Un's annual New Year message may have steered clear of digs at the US and Sony, but it did raise one pressing question: What's up with Kim's eyebrows? The South China Morning Post reports they now look like "little dashes," which it suggests... More »

N. Korea Is Now Done Mourning Kim Jong Il

Kim Jong Un may have opportunity to 'consolidate his power'

(Newser) - It's Korean tradition to mourn a parent's death for three years, and today North Korea reached a similar milestone marking the passing of Kim Jong Il in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reports. The country completed its mourning period with three minutes of silence—though it was also... More »

Stop Laughing at North Korea

Mockery isn't the right response to this horror: Clive Crook

(Newser) - Many years ago, Clive Crook green-lit an Economist cover featuring what at the time was a rare photo of Kim Jong Il, underneath the headline, "Greetings, earthlings." It was inspired, and "people still mention it to me unprompted as their favorite Economist cover," Crook writes at... More »

In North Korea, You Want Meth With That?

The drug is everywhere, not frowned upon, and a budding cottage industry

(Newser) - North Korea's growing drug problems are fairly well documented, and the Los Angeles Times today takes a deeper dive into the reasons driving the rise, particularly that of crystal meth. In a harsh nation where the sins of an uncle can doom an entire branch of the family tree... More »

Business as Usual? N. Korea Marks Kim Death Anniversary

Elder Kim celebrated as purges loom

(Newser) - North Korea has marked the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il with vows to unite behind his son, Kim Jong Un, and a series of events to show the world that the regime has returned to business as usual despite the execution last week of Kim's... More »

Kim Jong Il's Sushi Chef Spills Amazing Stories

GQ goes behind the bamboo curtain with Dear Leader's former cook, friend

(Newser) - Most people who manage to escape North Korea are everyday folk who flee from the countryside, unable to shed light on the inner-most workings of Pyongyang. Meet Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese sushi chef who spent years working as Kim Jong Il's personal chef and close confidant. Author Adam Johnson... More »

Kim Has 2 Daughters —by 2 Women: Source

Leader has apparently been sowing his dictatorial oats

(Newser) - Looks like one of the planet's craziest dynasties is ensuring that it'll be around to entertain/horrify future generations: Kim Jong Un, that baby-faced dictator who is said to have fathered a daughter late last year, reportedly has another kid on the ground. Chosun Ilbo reports by way of... More »

North Korea to Military: 'Be Ready for a War'

Satellite images indicate nuclear test could come in days

(Newser) - North Korea is stepping up its saber rattling yet again, placing the country under martial law in the run-up to an imminent nuclear weapon test, reports the Korea JoongAng Daily . North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un reportedly gave six orders at an emergency meeting last Saturday, including that "... More »

N. Korea Marks 1st Anniversary of Kim's Death

Missile launch leaves Pyongyang in upbeat mood

(Newser) - North Koreans across the country stopped in their tracks at midday today to silently honor former ruler Kim Jong Il, whose death one year ago swept his untested 20-something son to power. The son, Kim Jong Un, presided over a solemn ceremony in Pyongyang to reopen the sprawling granite mausoleum... More »

Kim Jong Un's Nephew: I Want to Help

Kim Han Sol gives rare interview to UN official

(Newser) - Kim Jong Il's grandson has given a rare television interview in which he says that he's "always dreamed that one day I would go back and make things better and make it easier for the people" of North Korea. Kim Han Sol—nephew of current leader Kim... More »

Chief of N. Korea Military Removed Mysteriously

Officially gone because of illness, but analysts skeptical

(Newser) - The top general in the North Korean military has been removed from all of his posts, military and political, reports the BBC . Officially, Ri Yong Ho has left his positions because of illness, but North Korea-watchers are skeptical. "It's quite a rare case that the North promptly and... More »

30 North Korean Officials Die in 'Car Crashes'

And regime's nuke ready for testing, maybe tomorrow

(Newser) - Thirty North Korean officials who took part in talks with South Korea were either executed or died in "staged traffic accidents" for failing to improve relations, according to Amnesty International. The human rights group's annual report found that another 200 were arrested in January as the regime transferred... More »

Bus' Wrong Turn Reveals Real North Korea

Reporters get a look at grimy reality normally hidden on staged presentations

(Newser) - The press bus took a wrong turn. And suddenly, everything changed in the official showcase of North Korean achievement. Dust swirled down deeply potholed streets, past crumbling concrete apartment buildings. Old people trudged along the sidewalk, while two men in wheelchairs waited at a bus stop. There were stores with... More »

Why North Korea Has So Many Famines

Slate: Bad management, lack of fertilizers, and lousy terrain

(Newser) - With North Korea agreeing to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for food aid (yet again), the Explainer blog at Slate takes on the question of why the North keeps suffering from famines and food shortages. In short, "poor growing conditions, fertilizer shortages, and general mismanagement." In the... More »

Sacha Baron Cohen Spills 'Ashes' on Ryan Seacrest

And not just any ashes ... Kim Jong Il's

(Newser) - Sacha Baron Cohen-as-Dictator was dis-invited to the Oscars then invited again . And, as expected, he did something a little outrageous: spilled "ashes." Belonging to "Kim Jong-Il." Onto E! host Ryan Seacrest's tuxedo. Flanked by two flower girls, Baron Cohen jokingly claimed to be carrying the... More »

North Korea Punishes 'Insincere' Mourners

Crocodile tears for Kim result in forced labor, source says

(Newser) - North Koreans whose mourning of their Dear Leader lacked enthusiasm have been sent to join the 200,000 of their countrymen already in labor camps, according to Daily NK . The South Korea-based website, citing sources in the North, says people who either skipped mourning sessions for Kim Jong Il or... More »

Kim Jong Il's Body to Be Put on Display—Forever

Embalmed body to rest in Pyongyang mausoleum

(Newser) - It seems North Korea was able to dig up enough coins to pickle dear departed leader Kim Jong Il after all. The country announced today that Kim's embalmed body will go on permanent display in a Pyongyang mausoleum. His body had been shown under a glass coffin, but following... More »

North Korea Open for Tourism Again

Journalists or South Koreans need not apply

(Newser) - Where should you take your next vacation? CNN's Business 360 blog notes that North Korea is accepting tourists again after a winter hiatus. As long as you are not South Korean or a journalist, you should be able to get in as part of a tour group. One agency... More »

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