Kim Il Sung
Once again Pyongyang has its hands out for international food assistance to compensate for its inability to feed its people.
One of the odder things I've heard in China is that a good number of people see North Korea as a prime tourism destination. I didn't really believe it until reading Jon Cannon's piece in the London Review of Books about Dandong, a city that straddles the border between the two countries: A lot of Chinese tourists visit Dandong simply ‘because it’s there’. It is the only major city in China actually situated on one of the country’s external borders, and the view into another country is an attraction in itself.
The labor movement is losing a great innovator (and a powerful, unsung underrated force behind health care reform.) Brad Plumer memorably profiled Stern in 2008: With our interview winding down, Andy Stern leaps out of his chair to show me something. On the far wall of his Washington, D.C., office, the leader of the 1.9-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) keeps a little museum.
While we don't ultimately know what prompted North Korea's nuclear test, we do know that Kim Jong-Il was hospitalized last fall, and that he is maneuvering to appoint a successor. Last September, TNR reviewed Kim's options: Of Mr. Kim's four children from three mothers, his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, is thought to be his favorite, but being only 24 and third in line, it would seem very difficult to jump two sons in the succession.
EVEN IN NORTH KOREA, BOYS and girls fall in love. On a cool autumn afternoon in Pyongyang, I watched as a young soldier, looking sharp in his dress uniform, took his new bride to receive a blessing for their union from a 40-ton bronze statue of Kim Il Sung. The statue stands on Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill, and it receives thousands of visitors each day. Like everyone else in the country, the bride and groom wore pins celebrating the late Kim. They laughed nervously when asked to pose for photos with foreigners, but they agreed, looking curious and distrustful at the same time. It was the first tim
Olympic Opening Ceremonies are, by their nature, kitschy. And last week's four-and-a-half-hour extravaganza in Sydney--complete with a "lawn-mower ballet" and children costumed as flowers--proved no exception. But this particular halftime show, according to Olympics boosters, held deeper significance. That's because, for the first time since North Korea and South Korea went to war in 1950, the two countries' Olympic delegations marched together under the single banner of Korea.
When Jimmy Carter, after concluding several hours of discussions in Pyongyang with North Korea's Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, declared that "the crisis is over" on the Korean peninsula, a sigh of relief could be heard around the world. It appeared as if the drift toward a diplomatic and economic confrontation, and possibly even a military conflict, had been averted. If Carter was right, and no one could say with certainty that he was wrong, the stage had been set for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear challenge. Pyongyang subsequently agreed to permit inspectors from the Internati