Kim Jong Il

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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...

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...

Bus&#39;s Wrong Turn Reveals Real North Korea

 Bus' Wrong Turn 
 Reveals Real 
 North Korea 

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...

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...

Sacha Baron Cohen Spills &#39;Ashes&#39; on Ryan Seacrest
Sacha Baron Cohen Spills 'Ashes' on Ryan Seacrest
academy awards

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...

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...

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...

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...

N. Korea to Free Prisoners for Kim Jong Il's Birthday

Likely another move to shore up support for Kim Jong Un

(Newser) - North Korea has announced a round of special pardons for some of its prisoners in honor of what would have been Kim Jong Il's 70th birthday next month, in what the Telegraph sees as an attempt to boost the popularity of Dear Leader's heir, Kim Jong Un. The...

Now North Korea Lashes Out at Japan

New regime does not appear eager to improve relations

(Newser) - North Korea reprimanded Japan last night and today for what it sees as a failure to show respect for Kim Jong Il's death, the latest sign that a regime change in Pyongyang will not bring improved relations with rival countries. The state news agency last night admonished Japan for...

North Korea Calls for Citizen 'Human Shields' for Kim Jong Un

Leader is 'eternal center' of nation's unity, says statement

(Newser) - North Korean leaders are urging citizens to be "human shields" to protect Kim Jong Un. "The whole Party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong Un unto death," said...

North Korea: Do Not Expect Us to Change

Pyongyang will have 'no dealings' with Seoul: statement

(Newser) - The passing of Kim Jong Il won't change anything in North Korea, the country announced today in quite the blustery manner. "We declare solemnly and confidently that the foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea, should not expect any change from us,"...

North Korea Hails Kim as &#39;Supreme Leader&#39;
 North Korea 
 Hails Era of 


North Korea Hails Era of 'Supreme Leader'

Unofficial power transfer takes place at memorial to Kim Jong Il

(Newser) - North Koreans crammed into Pyongyang's main square today to hail Kim Jong Un as "supreme leader of the party, state, and army," in a memorial service for Kim Jong Il that the BBC notes appears to mark the unofficial transfer of power. The younger Kim was joined...

2-Day Kim Jong Il Funeral Begins
 Kim's 2-Day Funeral Begins 

Kim's 2-Day Funeral Begins

Kim Jong Un walks alongside father's hearse

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of soldiers lined the snowy streets of Pyongyang today as North Korea began two days of funeral services for Kim Jong Il. Successor Kim Jong Un walked alongside the hearse, followed by other senior officials who included his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, the AP reports. State television,...

North Korea Wants South to Open Wallet

It hopes to revive old pact calling for big investments

(Newser) - One thing hasn't changed in the dynamic of the two Koreas: The North wants its richer neighbor to pump in much-needed cash in the form of investments, reports the New York Times . The head of North Korea's parliament today pressed the issue when speaking with Lee Hee-ho, the...

S. Korea's Former First Lady Meets Kim Jong Un

Heads one of two private mourning delegations from Seoul

(Newser) - South Korea's 89-year-old former first lady is in Pyongyang meeting with the North's new 20-something "Supreme Commander," reports the BBC . Lee Hee-Ho, the wife of late President Kim Dae-Jung, headed one of two delegations South Korea allowed to visit Pyongyang to pay respects to Kim's...

Kim's Older Brother Placed 'Under Chinese Protection' Kim Jong Un is elevated to head of the ruling party

(Newser) - North Korea today awarded Kim Jong Un yet another title—he's now the head of the ruling Workers’ Party. But for his brother, no such accolades. South Korea's Yonhap news agency today reported on the whereabouts of Kim Jong Il's oldest son, Kim Jong Nam: He apparently...

N. Korea Signals Rise of Kim's Uncle

Jang Song Thaek appears in public dressed as general

(Newser) - Pyongyang was busily hailing Kim Jong Un as its "Supreme Commander" yesterday, but today's spotlight in the who's-running-North-Korea spectacle is on Kim's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, reports Reuters . Seems official state media are running photos of Jang dressed as a general, in what many are interpreting...

Are North Korea's Elite Defecting?

Reports from South Korea say some senior officials don't want to go home

(Newser) - In Kim Jong Il's death, an opportunity to escape? Maybe. Reports out of South Korea say that members of the country's elite appear to be defecting—or considering it. "Many ranking North Korean officials in China are refusing to return after being summoned to North Korea,"...

Kim Jong Un Now Country's 'Supreme Commander'

State-run media vows to uphold him as such

(Newser) - Kim Jong Un isn't just North Korea's "Outstanding Leader" —he's now also the "Supreme Commander" of its military. He was hailed as such by the ruling party newspaper, which urged Kim to lead the country to "eternal victory." "We declare from...

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