The power brokers behind North Korea’s next leader
The late Kim Jong Il had 20 years of preparation at the side of his father, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994. Experts say that because Kim Jong Un doesn’t have that kind of experience, the youngest member of the political dynasty will need the brains and political brawn of his father’s closest confidants before formally taking power.
Defectors: Death Won’t Bring Change Anytime Soon
Wall Street Journal
Though the despot is gone, rapid change in North Korea seems unlikely any time soon, defectors said Tuesday.
In a meeting with reporters, Rim Chun-ryong, who served in the North Korean army for 17 years before he fled the country in 2000, said people support the regime and that it is much stronger than outsiders presume.
S. Korea expresses sympathy to N. Korean people
The South Korean government expressed its sympathy to the people of North Korea following the death of Kim Jong Il, South Korea’s unification minister said Tuesday.
Kim Jong-il’s death brings end to era of cruelty, mystery
Christian Science Monitor
Kim Jong-il’s death at the age of 69 ended an era of profligacy and harshness that included reports of both his wild living in his many mansions and stories from defectors of extreme cruelty in a gulag system to which 200,000 people were constantly consigned.
The report of the demise of the man known as North Korea’s “dear leader” – who reportedly imported cognac along with Swedish hostesses and dined on fine food dished up by a Japanese chef who dedicated a special brand of sushi to him – confirmed speculation that he had been seriously ill for awhile.
Future N. Korean Leader attended attended Swiss School
Former pupils of a school in Switzerland believe the young lad who loved playing basketball and watching action movies and was always “good for a laugh” may have been none other than Kim Jong-un, son and anointed successor of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
N. Korean Leader Seen Extending ‘Kim Brand’
“Jong Un’s main claim to leadership is that he looks very similar to his grandfather,” said Bradley K. Martin, author of “Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty” and a former reporter for Bloomberg News. “What you have here is branding. The Kim brand.”
Kim’s Death: Who Knew When?
Wall Street Journal
After being caught completely off-guard by Kim Jong Il’s death Monday, local politicians and the public are asking what may be a painful question for intelligence and defense officials: why didn’t Seoul know about this sooner?
It’s no secret that the South Korean government devotes a considerable amount of resources in gathering intelligence about what’s going on north of the border. But when prodded by the perceived lapse, various arms of Korean government declined to discuss Seoul’s intelligence gathering process, including how they first heard of Kim Jong Il’s death or the precise time that became aware of it.
New Weight on U.S.-South Korea Relations
New York Times
“I think right now the North Koreans are themselves going to go into a period of national mourning,” said Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman. “We need to see where they are and where they go as they move through their transition period.”
Metro Detroit Koreans hope for better future
For Kiyon Ahn, a Metro Detroiter who grew up in Busan, South Korea, but left the country for the United States 36 years ago, the news prompted thoughts about the future of the region and its heir-apparent, Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of Kim Jong Il.
“A lot of people are thinking whether (North Korea) will be better or not better,” Ahn said on Monday. “He’s too young. He doesn’t have enough experience.” He is believed to be in his late 20s.
Comics won’t have Kim to kick around any more
But in life and even in death, Kim, who reportedly died on Saturday at 69, was comedy gold to foreign satirists — among the few outsiders who will miss the late North Korean leader and his elevator shoes and bouffant hairstyle.
In Kim’s Undetected Death, Sign of Nation’s Opacity
New York Times
For South Korean and American intelligence services to have failed to pick up any clues to this momentous development — panicked phone calls between government officials, say, or soldiers massing around Mr. Kim’s train — attests to the secretive nature of North Korea, a country not only at odds with most of the world but also sealed off from it in a way that defies spies or satellites.
Kim Jong Il’s Death: 5 Memorable Parodies of the North Korean Dictator (Video)
The Hollywood Reporter
From “Team America: World Police” to “30 Rock,” the late leader — and dedicated film fan — has been spoofed frequently in pop culture.
But he’s also been the object of many a parody in Hollywood, from Team America: World Police to 30 Rock. Here are five memorable spoofs of the late North Korean dictator.