Sunday, January 10, 2010

In The News: DPRK

Each of the three main English-language newspapers has front page coverage today about North Korea. But each one has a different story.

Kim Jong-il Determined to Feed His People (Korea Times):
"I am resolute in my determination to enhance people's living standards in the shortest possible time so that they don't have to envy the life of people in other countries," he said, according to a North Korea's official Web site, Uriminjokkiri. [...]
"Even though our nation has become a powerful state in terms of political ideology and the military, but it is much lacking in terms of people's living standards," Yonhap cited the web site, saying Kim's remark had originally appeared on the state-run Rodong Sinmun.

Nowhere to Hide for Kim Jong Il? (Dong-A Ilbo):
A Chinese-language magazine published in Canada has carried in this month’s edition a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s office and vicinity. In photos taken in the 1980s, his office had equipment that received six foreign broadcast channels. In the latest photo, eleven satellite antennas were shown, including those for receiving South Korean broadcasts. This suggests that Kim is fully aware of what is going on in South Korea and other parts of the world. Accordingly, he should then realize how his country’s isolation and hereditary tyranny are worlds apart from the rest of the globe. [...]
He reportedly uses several residences. Those not frequented by him are made to look as if he lives there, but where he does reside is places unimaginable as living quarters. He uses underground passages so that no satellite can take photos of him. Intelligence data suggests that he uses doubles for public activities.

N.K. suspected of inflating heir apparent's age (Korea Herald):
North Korea's heir apparent was actually born in 1984, proving to be one year younger than previously known, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday, citing an unidentified informed source, according to Yonhap News.
The Mainichi Shimbun said it has been confirmed that Kim Jong-un, the third son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, is now 26 years old, as he was born on Jan. 8, 1984, instead of the previously known date, Jan. 18, 1983.
A 25th birthday celebration was held in Pyongyang on Jan. 7 last year in honor of the North Korean heir apparent, the paper insisted.

NK Power Shift Becomes More Visible (Korea Times):
Without noting the apparent age discrepancy, this story reports on a celebration of Kim Jong-un's birthday last Friday.
rare photo of Kim Jong-un
North Korea watchers said this indicates that Kim Jong-un will soon ascend to a leadership role.
Earlier, the reclusive state showed signs of preparing to crown the heir-apparent, the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, eulogizing him as the “morning star.”
“A bright full moon shone through the night in the skies above Mt. Baekdu, marking the maximum distance of vision until dawn came,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in its New Year’s Day meteorological report on Jan. 2.
Jong-un was initially referred to as “General Kim” but he is now called “Morning Star General.”


john said...

Happy to see Kim Jong-il wants to feed his people.

Tuttle said...

Mighty decent of him, isn't it? What I thought was interesting was the rare admission that living standards aren't up to snuff.