From Miraculous Birth to ‘Axis of Evil’: Dictator Kim Jong Il’s Timeline
North Korea ends 12 days of official mourning today for Kim Jong Il, the dictator eulogized by his nation’s state media as “Dear Leader.”
Kim died of a heart attack on Dec. 17, brought on by exhaustion as he traveled the country by train offering guidance to his people, according to the official account of his passing.
Below is a timeline of notable events during the life of Kim, showing the contrast between the persona crafted by his state media and the accounts of outsiders and the international press.
Where in the World Is Kim Jong Nam?
Reports say Kim Jong Il’s eldest son is now under “Chinese protection” after leaving the island of Macau. But like most things in the Hermit Kingdom, it’s hard to know for sure.
Just how isolated is North Korea? 6 facts to consider
Christian Science Monitor
North Korea’s outlook has earned it the title of the ‘hermit kingdom.’ The country is both cut off from the wider world and intensely focused on its neighbors.
In South Korea, some praise North’s departed “Dear Leader”
Despite growth that has propelled South Korea to become the world’s 13th largest economy, a powerhouse that makes computers, mobile telephones and cars, there are some in the capital of Seoul who believe life is better in the impoverished North.
As the world watched Wednesday’s funeral of dictator Kim Jong-il, who presided over famine, a nuclear arms push and military skirmishes with the South, Choi Dong Jin, 48, told Reuters that Kim was “a great and outstanding person” for resisting U.S. imperialism.
Korean American pastor seeks reunification through humanitarian aid
When Chang Soon Lee reflects on his childhood years in North Korea, his joy quickly turns to deep sadness. Like millions of Koreans caught in the middle of the Korean War in the early 1950s, Chang at the age of 15 was forced to flee his native homeland.
His father, a prominent minister who survived World War II, disappeared just days after communist-led forces invaded Pyongyang. “After the (World War II) liberation of Korea, my father often visited churches and preached but one day we waited for him and he never returned home,” says Chang.
By the time an armistice halted the Korean War in 1953, nearly 37,000 U.S. troops had been killed and more than 400,000 North Koreans soldiers were dead, according to the U.S Department of Defense.
Chang eventually emigrated to the United States on a student visa and became a minister, co-founding a ministry for Korean immigrants at Wiltshire United Method Church in Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest Korean-American population.
But Chang has never forgotten his homeland and he’s returned half a dozen times on humanitarian missions, taking tons of food to orphanages as part of a charity group he established in the United States. “Its a kind of symbolic showing for them that we love you, you are our brothers and sisters, we are tragically separated but we are one and we are concerned about you we are praying,” says Chang.
N.Korean Spy Kills Himself
A man who claimed to be a North Korean defector has committed suicide after confessing that he was sent to spy on the South.
During questioning the man, who was in his 30s, said he had received orders from Pyongyang to report on a South Korean organization that helps defectors from the North.
The National Intelligence Service said the man had hanged himself in a shower room. The source said North Korean spies held the man’s family hostage and that he felt pressured after his confession.
Adoption of Korean boys leads to full house
Journal Review (Crawfordsville, Ind.)
Paul and Stacey Leonard of Ladoga adopted sons Charlie, 1, and Reuben, 5, from South Korea. The Leonards also have a biological son, Peter, 8.
Injury costs Huskers one-time starting lineman for bowl
Due to an injury to the regular starter, Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Seung Hoon Choi will be in the starting lineup when Nebraska takes on South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2.
S. Korean short-track legend gains Russian citizenship to fulfill Sochi dream
Russia’s medal hopes at their first-ever Winter Games in Sochi have been given yet another boost as South Korean short-track legend Ahn Hyun-soo has finally been granted Russian citizenship.
The 26-year-old captured three golds and one bronze at the Turin Olympics back in 2006, becoming the most successful athlete there. He is also a five-time Overall World Champion.
HyunA & 2NE1 make it to Spin.com’s ‘Favorite Pop Tracks of 2011′ list
On December 27, the website for music magazine Spin revealed their favorite pop singles of 2011.
Among the various songs by A-list pop icons, two K-pop songs made it to the list. At #3, HyunA‘s “Bubble Pop” beat #4 pop princess Britney Spears‘ “Till the World Ends“, and 2NE1‘s “I Am the Best” took the #8 spot.