February 17, 2010 |
The devoted threw a party fit for a prince: There were dancers, singers and synchronized swimmers, not to mention unnamed foreign dignitaries -- all celebrating the 68th birthday Tuesday of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's "Dear Leader." In Pyongyang, the capital, state-run media lauded a national hero "praised by mankind as the most outstanding political elder and the peerlessly brilliant commander of the present era." Outside the isolationist state, though, the take on Kim's milestone was a bit less breathless as analysts questioned his physical and mental health after a suspected stroke in 2008.
December 20, 2011
According to his obituary in The Times, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il hired a personal sushi chef from Tokyo and a personal pizza chef from Italy even as his country suffered through a famine that killed as many as 2 million of his people. He kept a library of 20,000 movies for his own entertainment although ordinary citizens could be sent to prison camps for watching South Korean or American movies. He beat back economic reforms and led North Korea's economy to the brink of collapse while building a nuclear weapons program opposed by the rest of the world.
February 27, 2010 |
Kim Yu-na could be excused if she had cracked under the pressure. Going for gold in Vancouver on Thursday night, the slight South Korean figure skater carried more than her own expectations of victory; she represented the yearning of a nation. And when Kim delivered with a skate for the ages, Koreans had not just their country's first-ever figure skating gold medal, but something many treasure even more: the defeat of Kim's closest rival, Mao Asada of Japan. When it comes to sports, there is little sweeter to a Korean than a victory over Japan, its former colonial occupier and the country against which it measures success.
February 26, 2010 |
They already called her "Queen Yuna" in South Korea. And Kim Yuna spread her dominion to an absolute reign over the women's figure skating world after the Olympic women's figure skating final Thursday night. Skating a stunningly difficult program without an error, floating like a feather in the wind to the airy, jazzy rhythms of Gershwin's Concerto in F, unflinchingly bearing the weight of her country's hopes, Kim crushed her rivals with a performance for the ages. Mao Asada of Japan wound up a distant second, Joannie Rochette of Canada, third, and Mirai Nagasu of the United States a surprising fourth.
March 24, 2012 |
President Obama's decision to nominate a South Korean-born educator and health expert to lead the World Bank — and not someone with experience in global finance or diplomacy — reflects the increasingly fractious politics of international agencies and the need to address growing demands for representation outside the U.S. and Europe, analysts say. Obama's nomination of Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to succeed Robert Zoellick comes...
February 24, 2010 |
After nearly a year of breathless anticipation, enough to make any women's figure skater hyperventilate if she got caught up in it, the skating world finally got a chance to see whether its newest star, Kim Yuna of South Korea, could withstand the pressure and perform at the level that had made her a heavy Olympic favorite. Her coach, Brian Orser, knew what Kim was going through, having entered the 1988 Olympics in Calgary as Canada's primary hope for a gold and winding up with silver.
August 24, 2011 |
Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled to Russia for the first time in nearly a decade, holding rare talks Wednesday with President Dmitry Medvedev that made progress on such issues as an energy deal and nuclear disarmament, according to Russian media reports. Meeting in remote eastern Siberia, the two leaders brought varying agendas, experts say: Kim is desperate for economic aid for his starving country while Medvedev seeks to bolster Russia's role in northeast Asia and promote its rapidly expanding economy.
December 20, 2011
Choices on the menu Re "School menu fails student test," Dec. 18 The failure of the new school lunch menus again proves that no matter how much the do-gooders in government wish it were different, they can't and shouldn't try to dictate taste and behavior. Whether it is the food we eat, the light bulbs we use, the mileage of the car we buy, the decision to gamble on the Internet or with whom we choose to be intimate — stay out of our lives. John Piccininni Newport Beach I read this article with skepticism.
July 17, 2012 |
North Korea's tough-minded military chief is out. Disney characters are in. Seven months after taking power in one of the world's most-closed societies, youthful Kim Jong Un appears to be consolidating his grip on North Korea, whose only two previous leaders were his late father and grandfather. At the same time, he appears to be putting his own, less hermetic, stamp on the nation's culture. Answers to bigger questions -- whether to expect any meaningful change in North Korea's relations with the outside world or its ability to feed and clothe its own people -- remain far from clear.
August 7, 2012 |
CHEONAN, South Korea - Kim Sung-eun let out a sigh as he checked email from a North Korean defector in China. The teenager had been sending the pastor emails for months, begging for help in escaping China. "I live in despair every day. I need to get out of here, pastor. Please save me," the email read. Agonized, Kim started to write a reply, his hand resting on his mouth as he selected words to comfort the teen. Such urgent emails and calls are common for Kim, who has been helping North Koreans find freedom from their repressive Communist nation for more than a decade.