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WORLD
January 27, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
YANJI, China - After the North Korean coal mine where she worked stopped paying salaries, Park Kyung Ok tried her hand at business. Buttons and zippers, candy and dried squid, fabric, plastic tarpaulins, men's suits and cigarettes. "I sold just about everything," said Park, 44. But it wasn't until she started hawking methamphetamine in 2007, she said, that she was able to earn a living. Methamphetamine, known as orum, or "ice," is a rare commodity manufactured and sold in North Korea, where most factories sit idle, the equipment rusted or looted.
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WORLD
April 25, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
SEOUL -- President Obama conceded Friday that sanctions on Russia may not force President Vladimir Putin to alter his decisions on Ukraine, but he then offered a spirited defense of how they might still influence a leader he said is “not a stupid man.” Putin surely realizes that sanctions have hurt the Russian economy, Obama said, and knows there is much more pain ahead if he doesn't live up to his pledge to ease tensions in Ukraine, where Russian-speaking...
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WORLD
February 24, 2008 | Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer
Not since 1950 when the U.S. Army briefly captured Pyongyang during the Korean War have so many Americans descended on the world's most reclusive, anti-U.S. capital. This time, though, the invasion is not military, but musical. A 747 jumbo jet from Beijing is scheduled to arrive Monday in Pyongyang carrying a full symphony orchestra -- 130 members of the New York Philharmonic and their instruments, minus only the piano.
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
SEOUL -- President Obama plans to honor those who died in the Korean War with a surprising message for a foreign audience: a pitch for immigration reform back home. At a naturalization ceremony Friday for 13 U.S. service members and seven military spouses stationed in South Korea, he will offer a tribute to the contributions that naturalized American citizens have made through military service, according to an official familiar with the event. The ceremony offers a rare setting for a recurrent Obama message: that the U.S. will benefit if immigrants who already make the sacrifices of citizenship can enjoy the rights and privileges that go along with it. The remarks, coming in the middle of an eight-day tour of Asia, will also be the opening message to a South Korean audience worried about national security and looking for reassurance from their ally.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 28, 1989 | BOB BAKER, Times Staff Writer
As a beloved ex-President, Ronald Reagan almost always gets what he wants these days. But this week, one of Reagan's personal wishes was blocked by a federal convict with a typewriter. Last Friday, Reagan personally telephoned the National Park Service in Washington to add his support to proposed national historic landmark status for a mitten-shaped hill in the Santa Monica Mountains that includes prized Chumash Indian cave paintings. But on Monday, when the Park Service's advisory board met, it concluded that its hands were tied.
WORLD
April 26, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
The image is chilling: A submersible suicide bomber set loose by North Korea destroys a South Korean warship and kills at least 40 crew members. Each day, the mystery over the fate of the 1,200-ton patrol boat Cheonan deepens — with the speculation taking on what some analysts say is a fantastic, James Bond quality. The Cheonan split in two and sank March 26 on a mission at the disputed sea border between North and South. The Korean peninsula is always tense, but the specter of war has increased in recent weeks as investigators point to possible North Korean involvement in the sinking, suggesting the Cheonan was struck by either a floating mine or enemy torpedo.
OPINION
April 3, 2013
Re "Reaching out to Pyongyang," Opinion, April 1 I am not a trained diplomat or a politician, but as one who is preparing for his fourth invited visit to Pyongyang since 2009, I have come to appreciate the value of one-on-one discussions with the North Koreans that Donald Gregg is advocating. Each time I leave, I am told: "We are aware of the tensions between your country and ours, and yet you dare to come. You are always welcome here. " In 2012 I was able to take to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea a delegation of American magicians as the first step in a hoped-for people-to-people exchange.
OPINION
April 6, 2013
Re "North Korea raises global alarm," April 3 The United States, in its role as world policeman, is constantly on the brink of conflict. Now we face the possibility of another war - this one nuclear. It's argued that nuclear arsenals act only as a deterrent; in other words, nukes will never be used. But with a belligerent North Korea potentially facing the U.S., the only nation to have ever dropped an atomic bomb in a war, nuclear conflict looms as ominously as ever. We have a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize and in his 2008 campaign expressed willingness to talk to our enemies.
SPORTS
April 10, 2010
World Cup 2010: NORTH KOREA FIFA ranking: 105 Overall World Cup record: 1-2-1 Coach: Kim Jong-Hun Best performance: Quarterfinals, 1966 Overview: Making their first appearance in the World Cup finals in 44 years, the North Koreans face long odds in South Africa, where they are included with Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast in the so-called "group of death" in the first round. Although the North Koreans are big and fast, they are painfully short on international experience, fielding a roster made up almost entirely of players from domestic leagues.
OPINION
April 22, 2012
North Korea is threatening "retaliatory measures" for a decision by the United States to withhold 240,000 metric tons of food promised as part of an agreement announced less than two months ago. Never mind that the cancellation followed Pyongyang's failed launching of a missile designed to put a satellite into space, an operation the U.S. considered a violation of that same agreement, not to mention U.N. Security Council resolutions. The regime's chutzpah and hypocrisy know no bounds.
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Barbara Demick
SEOUL - As he hops around the Western Pacific this week, President Obama hopes to unite much of Asia around a free-trade deal, updated alliances and a new power balance. But he first must persuade two of America's closest allies to stop squabbling. Jetting from Tokyo to Seoul on Friday morning, his second stop on the trip, Obama was between two nations mired in an old feud. South Koreans are furious over what they perceive as inadequate remorse from Japan over its brutal colonization of their nation from 1910 to 1945 and its use of Korean "comfort women" as sex slaves during World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Park Geun-hye have traded slights and diplomatic digs for months.
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Steven Borowiec
SEOUL -- North Korea on Tuesday celebrated the birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung, with current leader Kim Jong Un reportedly paying respects at his grandfather's mausoleum amid efforts to more closely associate him with the late leader's legacy. Kim Il Sung would have turned 102 this year, and his birthday, known as the Day of the Sun, is a major holiday in North Korea. Since his death in 1994, the day has been celebrated with pageantry and displays of military hardware in the capital, Pyongyang.
WORLD
March 26, 2014 | By Steven Borowiec
SEOUL - - North Korea test-launched two medium-range ballistic missiles early Wednesday in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, officials said. The South Korean military said the missiles were launched just after 2:30 a.m. and flew for a little more than 400 miles. The U.S. State Department said the two missiles flew "over North Korea's land mass and impacted in the Sea of Japan. " It appeared that North Korea did not issue maritime warnings about the launches, the department said.
OPINION
March 19, 2014
Re "North Korea 2014 meets Rome AD 65," Opinion, March 14 One further parallel between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Rome's Nero is that both of them are infamous for their persecution and slaughter of Christians. This fact doesn't outrage many in our "polite society" who seem so willing to ignore it. James Stickley Pomona ALSO: Letters: Bringing an L.A. park back to life Letters: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a justice for all Letters: Common Core is about teaching students to think
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.
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
North Korea appears to be missing in an image taken from space. NASA says of the nighttime image, taken from the International Space Station: "North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. " Capital city Pyongyang has a population of more than 3 million, yet is a tiny island of light. The dictator-ruled nation is in the dark in more ways than one. Electricity is sporadic and unreliable, with those who have it often receiving power only a few hours a day, according to U.S. News & World Report.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Many people haven't known what to make of former NBA player Dennis Rodman's bizarre diplomatic efforts in North Korea, but 20th Century Fox may have found an answer: a big-screen comedy. The studio has bought the pitch for "Diplomats," a movie inspired by Rodman's "basketball diplomacy" efforts in the rogue nation, to be helmed by "Ride Along" director Tim Story, according to the Hollywood Reporter . The film is described as "a two-hander that takes its cues from the antics of the 6-foot-7 former NBA player.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - For decades, former eight-term Bay Area Rep. Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey Jr. has dreamed of a Korean War battle moment he cannot shake: Peering into a trench he sees the terrified faces of his teenage opponents, clutching wicker baskets full of grenades. He empties his weapon. Last week, at 86, he at last had an opportunity for personal reconciliation. As a member of a small delegation led by Donald Gregg, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, McCloskey traveled to Pyongyang with a singular intention.
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