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Letters: It's still the hermit kingdom

July 19, 2012

Re "N. Korea's Kim makes his mark with an ax," July 17

The ouster of its military chief may signal an end toNorth Korea's"military first" policy, or it may be simply a capstone in Kim Jong Un's rise to power.

Changes in women's dress have also prompted speculation about the route Kim has chosen for his country. Is it a road that will allow a woman to wear a skirt while riding a bike, or is the change simply an attempt by communist fashionistas to usher in a new era of leadership?

Despite the clouds of uncertainty looming over the Hermit Kingdom, the vast majority of North Koreans are impoverished. Disloyalty results in imprisonment, torture and often death. Aggression and fear fuel the regime's appetite for nuclear weapons, while its children starve.

North Korea remains the unhappiest place on Earth — a certitude Disney characters cannot ignore and a young, untested leader refuses to understand.

Frank J. Perez

Hollister, Calif.


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