Tag: North Korea

Kim Jong's Youngest Son to Succeed Him

Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il, who died this weekend, will be his successor. His son has been being groomed for the job since at least 2010 when he was made a four-star general:

Mr. Kim’s s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, was promoted on Sept. 28 to the rank of four-star general, a prerequisite for his ascendancy to power. The elder Mr. Kim, who is said to be in poor health after apparently suffering a stroke in 2008, has hurried the succession of his son in recent weeks.

Here is North Korea's official statement of Kim Jong-il's death. Reuters has this timeline of his rule.

The media is full of articles about Kim Jong-il and how he turned North Korea into a communist state. The BBC reports citizens of North Korea are mourning his death. [More...]

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Obama: U.S. Will Defend South Korea

Update: President Obama said tonight the U.S is going to hold "joint military exercises" with South Korea and is sending a carrier to the region. The purpose is to deter N. Korea attacks and " to signal to China that unless it reins in its unruly ally it will see an even larger American presence in the vicinity."


Are we going to enter yet another war? President Obama today addressed the crisis in South Korea. Does he mean diplomatially or militarily? So far, no troops have been repositioned. But, Obama wouldn't speculate on U.S. military options.[More...]

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Bill Clinton in N. Korea to Negotiate for Jailed Journalists

Former President Bill Clinton has arrived in North Korea where he will attempt to negotiate for the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two Current TV reporters jailed and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.

Will he succeed?

Scott Snyder, a North Korea expert for the nonprofit Asia Foundation, said Clinton's standing as a world statesman carried weight with Pyongyang.
"The North Koreans have a lot of nostalgia for the end of the Clinton administration," he said.

"The question is going to be how could he go to Pyongyang without some assurance that they would be released," Snyder said. "For someone at his level to go without a prior assurance of some kind would be to risk a huge loss of face."

I think he'll do it. He rocks.

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Two Female American Reporters Sentenced to 12 Years in North Korea

Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two reporters for Current TV who were arrested when North Korea said they were improperly in the country, have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. The LA Times reports:

Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, were arrested March 17 along the China-North Korean border after top officials in Pyongyang said they had encroached on North Korean soil while reporting a story on human trafficking by Kim Jong Il's regime.

Laura Ling is the sister of tv personality Lisa Ling. Will that help her get released?

Life in a North Korea labor camp is not pleasant:

North Korean labor camps are notorious for their high death rates because of malnutrition and overwork. But thus far, the women have been fairly well treated, housed in a Pyongyang guest house and allowed occasional telephone calls. The Swedish ambassador has also been permitted to visit them.


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Obama Responds to North Korea Rocket Launch

President Obama responded in Prague today to North Korea's rocket launch.

"I call on North Korea to honor its commitment to abandon all nuclear weapons programs, to abide by recognized norms of international relations, and to work to promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Obama said.

What's behind the launch? A cry for attention? A message that Kim Jong il has recovered from his stroke and is still a big, bad force to be reckoned with?

Apparently, the launch was unsuccessful and fell into the sea. The U.N. will meet today and discuss it, but further tough sanctions are not expected because Russia and China oppose them.

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