Kim Il Sung

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Kim Executed Uncle Because of Grudge Over His Mom: Book

More family secrets in defector's memoir, including a Clapton concert attended by Kim's brother

(Newser) - Long-held grudges, executions, an Eric Clapton concert—it's all there in a new 542-page memoir by a man the Wall Street Journal calls "North Korea's most high-profile defector in two decades." The New York Times reports on Thae Yong Ho's Cryptography From the Third-Floor Secretariat,... More »

US Nuclear Sub Arrives in South Korea

No sign of nuke test on important date for Pyongyang

(Newser) - A US guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the US, Japan, and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its military. Though experts thought a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch might happen, the morning came and... More »

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 »

Look Who's Back: Kim Jong Un's MIA Wife

Ri Sol Ju makes first public showing in months at soccer game with her husband

(Newser) - Someone's been taking that Beatles song "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" a little too seriously. But four months is a long time even by North Korean dictator standards, which may explain why pictures released by the country's state news agency show Kim Jong Un... 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 »

Kim Jong Un Caught Limping

Hobbles onstage at a tribute to his grandfather

(Newser) - Not surprising: that a 30-something man who appears to have recently gained weight, smokes heartily, and is probably perpetually stressed out from his dictatorial duties might have physical issues. Surprising: that that man is Kim Jong Un—and that state media showed him apparently exhibiting one of those physical issues... More »

Defiant North Korea Marks Founder's 101st Birthday

Call for talks rejected amid celebrations of Kim Il Sung

(Newser) - Oblivious to international tensions over a possible North Korean missile launch, Pyongyang residents spilled into the streets today to celebrate a major national holiday, the birthday of their first leader, Kim Il Sung—which also marks the start of the new year in the North Korean calendar. There was no... More »

Kerry Wants Korea Talks; North Disses 'Crafty Trick'

US vows to defend Japan, says Pyongyang must abide by previous nuke deals

(Newser) - John Kerry is on the ground today in Japan, continuing his Asian tour and vowing that North Korea will find "ready partners" in new talks with the United States, even as Pyongyang continues to seethe. Kerry and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida called on the North to first honor its... 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 Gives 1st Public Speech

Great spectacle designed to show military might, support of new leader

(Newser) - That whole rocket launch may not have worked out so well, but such minor inconveniences didn't stop North Korea from putting on a display of pomp for the occasion of founder Kim Il Sung 100th birthday that belied the nation's enduring poverty. Kim Jong Un himself surprised the... More »

Rocket Failure? Kim Jong Un Still Promoted

And North Korea re-confirms 'military-first' policy

(Newser) - If at first you don't succeed, bomb, bomb again. In the wake of its failed rocket launch , North Korea is doubling down on its "military-first" policy, promoting 20-something Kim Jong Un to first secretary of the powerful National Defense Commission—that officially makes him the country's leader,... More »

China to North Korea: Cool It With Missile Launch

China calls for calm as South Korea, US condemn planned launch

(Newser) - China is apparently wagging its finger at North Korea over its plan to launch a long-range rocket, as a North Korean nuclear envoy arrived in Beijing today for talks. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with North Korea's ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, to voice Beijing's... More »

N. Korea to Launch Long-Range Rocket

Move threatens agreement only 2 weeks old

(Newser) - Even by North Korean standards, this is an impressive renege. Just two weeks after agreeing to stop uranium enrichment and all nuclear and long-range missile testing in exchange for food aid, Pyongyang has announced it will launch a long-range missile next month. The North says it is just launching an... More »

Let the Kim Jong Un Mythmaking Begin!

He was born of heaven, naturally

(Newser) - Considering nature basically exploded at the passing of Kim Jong Il—at least, as reported by the state-run Korean Central News Agency—it shouldn't be too shocking to hear that the mythmaking for Kim Jong Un has already begun. The AP reports that a newspaper editorial calls him "... More »

Pyongyang May Be Too Poor to Pickle Kim

Unlike his father, late leader likely to be buried

(Newser) - Kim Jong Il is currently lying in state in Pyongyang, but North Koreans may not have much longer to view him: A shortage of skills and cold hard cash means the late Dear Leader will likely be buried instead of being preserved for display like his father, Kim Il Sung,... More »

Seoul to Troops: Stop Using Kim Pics for Target Practice

Cadets will be told to stop defacing images

(Newser) - In North Korea, images of Kim Jong Il and heir apparent are treated as holy icons. In the South, soldiers use them for target practice. Or at least they did until local media showed them doing so. Now Seoul has ordered cadets to stop decorating their rifle ranges with the... More »

Kim Jong Un May Have Had Surgery to Look Like Gramps

In older images, he looked skinny, had different chin

(Newser) - Did Kim Jong Un, the son and anointed successor of Kim Jong Il, have plastic surgery to look like his grandfather? That’s what South Korean newspapers are speculating after North Korea released the first official shots of Kim Jong Un last week. In them, he looked like the spitting... More »

Kim Jong-Il Visits China

South Korea seeks action after deadly naval strike

(Newser) - Kim Jong-Il likely entered China by train today as tensions over an alleged attack on a South Korean cruiser threatened to boil over. Both North and South Korea are looking to China for help—Seoul wants the North to be punished economically for the strike, while Kim wants further aid... More »

N. Korea Biopic May Signal Kim's Final Act

(Newser) - North Korea has started making a documentary honoring Kim Jong-il's life, leading many to suspect that the leader's final chapter is looming, Bloomberg reports. The leader, 67, is thought to have suffered a stroke last year and recent reports say he is now battling terminal pancreatic cancer. Analysts believe Kim,... More »

Dressed-Up Pyongyang Hid Grim Reality

N. Korean capital masked poverty for NY Philharmonic's visit

(Newser) - North Korea's capital was prettied up last month to show off the country's nonexistent prosperity to the New York Philharmonic and the accompanying press corps, the LA Times reports. The visitors to Pyongyang ate luxurious meals in newly painted hotels, but after they finished, the lights went out. "As... More »

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