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WORLD
May 3, 2010 | By Barbara Demick and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
When North Korea's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, ventures outside his hermit kingdom, he must be in need of something, and for his current trip to China, the wish list is especially long. From his last real ally, the 68-year-old dictator is seeking protection from international sanctions and the nod to install his twentysomething son as his successor, as well as money to prop up a faltering economy. Famously phobic about flying, Kim reportedly arrived in China on Monday, in a style befitting one of the world's last Cold War dictators: on an armored train and in what was supposed to be complete state secrecy.
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OPINION
March 14, 2014 | By James Romm
This week, as the Ides of March approaches - the March 15 anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar, a determined but ultimately fruitless attempt by Roman senators to stop their government from sliding toward dictatorship - the minds of some ancient historians may turn in a seemingly unlikely direction: toward modern North Korea. The dark and menacing regime of Kim Jong Un seems a long way off from the Augustan "Golden Age" of ancient Rome, an era that produced art and literature still admired today.
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WORLD
June 8, 2010 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law was elevated Monday to the second-most powerful position in the leadership, a reshuffling of personnel intended to consolidate the ruling family's grip on the country. The promotion of Jang Song Taek, 64, long believed to be one of the most powerful men behind the scenes in North Korea, was announced after an unexpected meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly, presided over by the ailing Kim. A longtime family confidant, 81-year-old Choe Yong Rim, was named prime minister, a largely ceremonial post.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2014 | By Karen Wada
Elizabeth LeCompte was walking past a New York gallery window when sculptures by Dutch artist Folkert de Jong caught her eye. "They were so ugly and scary and beautiful at the same time," recalls the director of the Wooster Group. "It was what I always want for my work to be. " LeCompte invited De Jong to create pieces for her experimental troupe. His costumes, set elements and props will be seen in "CRY, TROJANS! (Troilus & Cressida)," a retelling of Shakespeare's Trojan War saga, which begins its world-premiere run Feb. 27 at REDCAT.
WORLD
March 23, 2010 | By Barbara Demick
North Koreans who recently fled to China say many of their fellow citizens are losing faith in the regime of Kim Jong Il after a disastrous currency revaluation that wiped out savings and left food scarcer than at any time since the famine of the mid-1990s, when up to 2 million people died. "People are outspoken. They complain," said a 56-year-old woman from the border city of Musan who gave her name as Li Mi Hee. Lowering her voice to a whisper, she added: "My son thinks that something might happen.
WORLD
June 20, 2010 | Julia Damianova
More than 100 oils, watercolors, traditional Korean ink paintings and posters from the Korean Art Gallery in Pyongyang have been drawing a blurry line here between art and propaganda. Does the show at Vienna's MAK: Austrian Museum for Applied Arts/Contemporary Art offer a rare glimpse into an isolated and largely unknown North Korean art scene, or is it merely a stage for a regime that uses art not only as a messenger of its political ideology but also as a source of international funding?
OPINION
July 17, 1994
Re Kim Jong Il ("N. Korean Heir Apparent Is a Bizarre Enigma," July 10): Oh oh! Seems like Caligula has nuclear capability. LELAND P. HAMMERSCHMITT Ojai
SPORTS
September 22, 1988 | EARL GUSTKEY, Times Staff Writer
Chairs, water bottles and fists, ungloved ones, flew in Ring B at the Olympic boxing arena Thursday morning when outraged South Koreans attacked a referee. The mini-riot broke out seconds after Bulgaria's Alexander Hristov had been awarded a 4-1 decision over South Korea's Byun Jong-il. A South Korean coach and a team manager entered the ring first, the team manager grabbing the referee, Keith Walker of New Zealand, by the arm and shouting in his face.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 1987 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Times Arts Editor
Time does soar along. It's been 14 years since Erica Jong's controversially candid "Fear of Flying" was published, but it is still selling. Six million copies in the United States, the author said during a stop in Los Angeles this week, a total approaching 10 million worldwide in 22 languages, including Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian. It is read in the Soviet Union and China, whence no royalties emerge. Columbia bought the film rights and still owns them.
WORLD
October 5, 2008 | From the Associated Press
North Korea's state news agency reported a public appearance by reclusive leader Kim Jong Il for the first time in nearly two months, an absence that prompted speculation he was seriously ill. Kim watched a university soccer game, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday. It did not mention his health or when he made the appearance. The 66-year-old leader had not been seen in public since mid-August. U.S.
WORLD
February 17, 2014 | By Julie Makinen and Barbara Demick
BEIJING - Torture, deliberate starvation and other abuses carried out by North Korean authorities - possibly on the orders of leader Kim Jong Un - are crimes against humanity and should be referred to an international court or tribunal for prosecution, United Nations investigators said Monday. A 400-page report catalogs practices long cited by defectors and human rights activists, but their inclusion in a comprehensive document compiled by a U.N.-appointed panel appears to be unprecedented.
WORLD
February 15, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
YANJI, China - She was a North Korean success story. For more than two decades, the woman, now 50, dabbled in various businesses at the border between China and North Korea. She sold rice. She traded foreign currency. She opened a massage parlor in China. She traveled between the two countries with relative ease and was making sufficient money to live comfortably, so much so that she rebuffed invitations to join her sister, who had defected to South Korea. But the woman, who didn't want her name used out of fear for her safety, has changed her thinking about the future since the December execution of Jang Song Taek, the uncle by marriage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Jang, 67, was long viewed as a champion of free enterprise within the nominally communist state, and his purge has rattled many North Koreans.
WORLD
January 8, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Dennis Rodman helped Kim Jong Un mark his 31st birthday Wednesday with sport and song, serenading the North Korean dictator with a warbly rendition of “Happy Birthday” in a Pyongyang gymnasium and then leading fellow ex-NBA players in a game against a local squad. Spectators were not allowed to bring cameras into the modestly appointed arena, but video posted later online showed Rodman in sunglasses leading the crowd - many of them in sport coats and dress shirts - in a singing tribute to “The Marshal.” Then the Americans, in blue and white uniforms, faced off against the North Koreans, or the “Torch Team,” in red. Simon Cockerell, a tour guide with Beijing-based Koryo tours who is traveling with Rodman's group, described the event as a “bizarre and unusual occasion.” In a video dispatch from Pyongyang posted to Koryo's Facebook page, he said the teams played two 10-minute halves, with the North Koreans prevailing at the final buzzer (by a score of 47-39, according to Associated Press)
SPORTS
December 23, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Dennis Rodman has lost his corporate partner for his upcoming basketball exhibition in North Korea to celebrate the birthday of the repressive regime's young leader, Rodman's "friend for life" Kim Jong Un. The online betting site Paddy Power announced in an email Monday that it had decided to end its association with Rodman and his planned exhibition basketball game between the North Korean national team and a group of former U.S. players due...
SPORTS
December 17, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Dennis Rodman is going through with his plans to return to North Korea this week to train the national basketball team and help celebrate leader Kim Jong Un's birthday, despite the recent execution of Kim's uncle . Rodman has already visited the insular country considered to be one of the world's most repressive regimes twice this year. He has famously declared the dictator a friend for life and still insists that his own basketball diplomacy can help ease the tensions between North Korea and the U.S. “Yes, I'm going to North Korea to train the basketball team,” the flamboyant former NBA star told the Associated Press by phone.
WORLD
December 16, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi
SEOUL -- Leading up to the second anniversary of the death of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the Kim family has reappeared in public, only a few days after the reported execution of the current leader's uncle. Following the announcement of Jang Song Taek's execution on Friday, Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the reclusive state, made a series of appearances after being absent from the public eye for more than two weeks.  Over the weekend and on Monday morning, the North's state media continuously reported on what Pyongyang has dubbed "field guidance" trips by Kim. The state media service released several photos of Kim visiting a military design institute, a lavish ski resort and a fish factory on unknown dates.
OPINION
February 3, 2009 | Paul B. Stares, Paul B. Stares is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the coauthor, with Joel S. Wit, of "Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il finally emerged late last month after reportedly suffering a major stroke six months ago. Although dispelling one rumor -- he didn't die -- his appearance did nothing to stop speculation about his health and who will succeed him. The temptation is to wait and see, but this would be unwise. The United States and its Asian allies must prepare for the possibility that the leadership of North Korea may change sooner rather than later, and not necessarily smoothly.
OPINION
December 16, 2013 | By Scott Snyder
When a political crisis hits Pyongyang, the leadership's normal antidote is to hide the real drama in rumors and shadows while assuring the world that outside forces are no match for North Korea's spirit of "single-hearted unity. " But North Korea's real-time media coverage of the vituperative public denunciation and execution of Jang Song Taek, the uncle by marriage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has exposed deep divisions within the Kim family leadership and has shocked North Koreans and outsiders alike with its suddenness and its brutality.
WORLD
December 13, 2013 | By Barbara Demick and Jung-yoon Choi
BEIJING - It is North Korea's version of a youth revolution, and it's making a lot of people nervous. At 30, Kim Jong Un may well be the world's youngest head of state. His brother, Kim Jong Chul, two years older, is best known as an avid Eric Clapton fan but is also said to keep an eye on the leader's security. And the youngest of the Swiss-educated siblings, 26-year-old sister Kim Yo Jong, is seen frequently as an aide-de-camp to the leader. With Thursday's execution of their uncle, Jang Song Taek, and the purge of his cronies, this impatient new generation of the Kim family dynasty appears to be kicking out the adults.
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