March 8, 1997 |
One by one, the old-timers still clinging to power around North Korea's mysterious leader, Kim Jong Il, are dropping away. In the past month, the Communist regime's chief ideologue, its prime minister, two top military leaders, its vice minister of foreign affairs and an economic official all have defected, been deposed or died of "incurable" diseases. Is it mere coincidence or a chilling conspiracy?
October 27, 2000 |
He loves American movies, has collected thousands of videos and faithfully follows the Oscar buzz each year. He especially likes musicals and epics, although he says he's not sure he could bear to watch "Titanic" again. And he's crazy about basketball, knows U.S. teams and understands the difference between a zone and man-to-man defense. Kim Jong Il, an authoritarian leader in an isolated land, turns out not to be so cut off after all, U.S. officials discovered this week.
August 19, 2001 |
An armored train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Il clattered across the North Korean border early Saturday, bringing the reclusive head of state home after a strange and protracted trip to Russia. The 24-day visit was only Kim's third journey outside North Korea since he took over leadership of the poor, totalitarian country in 1994 after the death of his father, Kim Il Sung. Both of his previous trips were to China.
February 17, 2005 |
Are North Koreans nuts? Is their leader a certifiable wacko? Those questions become particularly important during crises in the isolated country's relations with the outside world. Pyongyang last week triggered the latest such crisis by announcing that it possessed nuclear weapons and would not return to talks on the issue with Washington, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Moscow.
August 6, 2001 |
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il toured Russia's top space facilities Sunday, a day after holding talks with President Vladimir V. Putin that showcased renewed strategic ties. Russian officials insisted that Kim's tours of the Khrunichev space center and Mission Control outside Moscow were for pleasure, not business. He later boarded his armored train for a sightseeing trip to St. Petersburg.
October 29, 2000 |
The U.S. State Department long regarded North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as a terrorist and dictator, but that view is out of date now thanks to a policy flip-flop by the U.S. secretary of State. In Bangkok this past July, Madeleine Albright gave a hint of things to come when she put on her black bowler hat during the Assn. of South East Asian Nations meeting to perform a cabaret number for fellow diplomats. "The former rogue," she sang, is "now in vogue!"