January 1, 2013 |
In an unusual televised address for the new year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called to defuse tensions with South Korea and boost the economy of his impoverished nation. “An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontations between the north and the south,” Kim declared. Almost anything emerging from the isolated North Korean regime is bound to be parsed by analysts seeking clues to its next steps, but it is striking that Kim gave such a speech at all. His father, Kim Jong Il, rarely spoke in public and signaled his annual plans through state newspaper editorials; the younger Kim has cultivated a more accessible style since taking power, showing up in public with his young wife and repeatedly addressing the North Korean people on television.
February 27, 2010 |
It was nearly midnight Thursday, the day of triumph running into the day after, and both Kim Yuna and Brian Orser already were looking at the days ahead. The skater and her coach were in a car going from post-competition doping control to a news conference that would be aired live in South Korea, where half the country's 48 million people already had watched TV broadcasts of their national hero becoming their first Olympic figure skating champion. During the 20-minute ride, Kim and Orser could have sat back and looked at the gold medal she won three hours earlier with a performance of record-breaking, mind-boggling quality.
July 5, 2009 |
The chaos of an unusually breezy and pleasant Independence Day had not yet settled down Saturday afternoon, when anything seemed possible at the AT&T National. There was, at one point, a four-way tie for the lead, and forget the usual suspects, because it involved gentlemen named Cameron Beckman and Michael Allen, who have, between them, 19 trips to the PGA Tour's qualifying school. Rod Pampling, an Australian who entered the day trailing by a single shot, momentarily held the lead alone.
May 4, 2010 |
When the "Dear Leader" hits the road for one of his rare trips outside North Korea, he doesn't take chances. And he certainly doesn't take jet planes. Shrouded in secrecy, excursions like this week's train trip to Beijing have all the markings of Kim Jong Il 's eccentric rule: logistics nuanced by enough bling to serve a seven-star hotel, and risk resistance bordering on the obsessive. On previous trips, there hasn't been just one train, but three. South Korean intelligence reports say the mystery entourage has included two dummy trains to confuse any would-be attacker.
February 25, 2010 |
One Olympic singles champion, Robin Cousins, says Kim Yuna has the "it factor." Another, Scott Hamilton, calls her a gift to the sport "from some other place." A rival's coach, Frank Carroll, marvels at her speed. One of the sport's legendary skaters, Michelle Kwan, says Kim is "what the judges are looking for, when it comes to jump quality, spin quality and edges." All agree there is no way Kim will lose the Olympic gold medal in Thursday night's long program if the 19-year-old South Korean skates the way she did in winning Tuesday's short program.
August 25, 2011 |
Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in remote eastern Siberia on Wednesday, reportedly to discuss such issues as a natural gas pipeline, economic aid and nuclear disarmament. Kim, on his first trip to Russia in nearly a decade, is desperate for economic aid for his starving country, and Medvedev is seeking to bolster Russia's economic involvement in Northeast Asia. Moscow wants to build a pipeline through the Korean peninsula to sell Siberian natural gas to North Korea, Japan and South Korea.