HANOI — President Trump took time off from his morning in Vietnam to exchange insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un."Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,'/ when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'" Trump said during a Sunday morning tweet storm in Hanoi that included a defense of his recent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Trump added: "Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"At a news conference a few hours later, Trump said that while it would be "a good thing" if he and Kim became friends — "I think anything is a possibility; strange things happen in life" — he doesn't expect it to happen.Trump may be watching cable news.CNN, which is available in Vietnam, reported the North Korean Foreign Ministry as calling Trump a "destroyer" who "begged for nuclear war" during an Asia tour in which he asked China and other countries to pressure Kim's government into giving up nuclear … [Read more...] about Trump insults ‘short and fat’ (and nuclear-armed) Kim Jong Un
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PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea's next leader burnished his diplomatic skills, solemnly welcoming a private South Korean mourning delegation and offering his thanks, as state media called Kim Jong Un a "sagacious" leader and revealed a new title that gives him authority over political matters. Kim has rapidly gained prominence since the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, on Dec. 17, and his brief meeting with a group led by a former South Korean first lady and a prominent business leader shows Seoul that he is assured in his new role. State media have showered Kim with new titles. On Monday, the main Rodong Sinmun newspaper described him as head of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party - a post that appears to make him the top official in the ruling party. That came two days after the North referred to him as "supreme leader" of the 1.2 million-strong armed forces and said the military's top leaders had pledged their loyalty to him. Late Monday, Pyongyang's official … [Read more...] about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un earns raves as he meets with South Korean delegation
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea hailed Kim Jong Il’s son as “supreme leader” of the 1.2-million strong military, ramping up its campaign to install the young man as the nation’s next leader even as the mourning for his father continued a week after his death. Kim Jong Un made a third visit Saturday to the palace where his father’s body is lying in state — this time as “supreme leader of the revolutionary armed forces” and accompanied by North Korea’s top military brass, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. The new title and public show of support from the military leadership sent a strong signal that the nation will maintain Kim Jong Il’s “military first” policy for the time being. Earlier Saturday, the newspaper Rodong Sinmun, mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party, urged Kim Jong Un to accept the top military post: “Comrade Kim Jong Un, please assume the supreme … [Read more...] about North Korea names late dictator’s young son Kim Jong Un ‘Supreme Commander’
Kim Jong Un's "mystery woman" is no longer a mystery. The woman who has appeared recently with the North Korean leader at several official events has been identified by South Korean intelligence sources as an old lover of Kim Jong Un and a formerly married pop star, according to the JoongAng Daily in Seoul. Hyon Song-wol shot to fame in North Korea in the 2000s as the lead singer for the Bochonbo Electronic Music Band, topping charts with hits such as "Footsteps of Soldiers," "I Love Pyongyang" and "Excellent Horse-Like Lady." The singer dropped out of the public sphere about six years ago when Kim Jong-il, who died in December 2011, began grooming his son to take over his leadership. Kim Jong Il allegedly ordered his son at the time to end his relationship with Hyon, whom Kim Jong Un met about 10 years ago when he returned home after attending an elite private academy in the Swiss city of Berne, according to South Korean intelligence agencies. After the split, Hyon … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Un’s ‘plus-1:’ Who is ‘mystery woman’ Hyon Song-wol?
PYONGYANG, North Korea -- North Korea warned the world Friday there would be no softening of its position toward South Korea's government after Kim Jong Il's death as Pyongyang strengthened his son and heir's authority with a new title: Great Leader. North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission said the country would never deal with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, a conservative who stopped a no-strings-attached aid policy toward the North in 2008. The stern message also said North Korea was uniting around Kim Jong Un, referring to him for the first time with the title Great Leader - previously used for his father - in a clear message of continuity. It was the latest incremental step in a burgeoning personality cult around the son following the Dec. 17 death of Kim Jong Il. The younger Kim on Thursday was pronounced Supreme Leader of the ruling party, military and people at a massive public gathering on the final day of official mourning for his father. The top … [Read more...] about North Korea: We won’t soften stance toward South Korea under Kim Jong Un
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s new, young leader Kim Jong Un is married, state TV reported Wednesday for the first time in a brief and otherwise routine announcement that ends weeks of speculation about a beautiful woman who has accompanied him to recent public events. Kim toured an amusement park with his “wife, comrade Ri Sol Ju” on Tuesday, while a crowd cheered for the leader, the news anchor said without giving any more details about Ri, including how long they had been married. The couple smiled broadly at each other as they walked through Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground, at one point watching a dolphin show. Kim also smiled and leaned slightly toward her as the two gazed ahead in the same direction. In another scene, Ri quietly looked down at her husband as Kim sat a bench and spoke to officials. PHOTOS: KIM JONG UN STEPS WITH HIS WIFE RI SOL JU Kim’s several public appearances with the woman, and Wednesday’s almost off-hand … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Un is married, North Korea confirms
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il this weekend marks a watershed moment for US-North Korean relations. Kim will be succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-un, who is less than 30 years of age. We know almost nothing about Kim Jong-un other than rumor and speculation. Indeed, we have almost no evidence of his political acumen or personality traits, because he only was elevated to leadership positions last year, in September 2010. With a new and untested leader in a poor, nuclear-armed country like North Korea, there is a wide possibility that things will change. However, although there is intense speculation that the regime may fall apart after the death of Kim Jong-il, that is in fact quite unlikely. The regime has already planned for an orderly succession, Kim Jong-un is clearly the next leader, and there is a cadre of senior generals and members of the inner circle who will work in the short run to make the regime run smoothly. In fact, North Korean state media outlets are already … [Read more...] about North Korea after Kim Jong-il: Where will Kim Jong-un take this isolated nation?
WASHINGTON - For North Korea, Bill Clinton's rescue mission last week was all about showing that "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il still had the mojo before he hands off the dictatorship to his youngest kid, aka the "Brilliant Comrade." Decoding the "hermit" kingdom's power puzzle is mostly guesswork gleaned from racy tidbits on the ruling family offered by defectors and Kim's former sushi chef. But U.S. and South Korean officials said that the photo ops with the former President, and the recent A-bomb test and missile launches, were just a doting dad's way of "securing the throne" for 26-year-old Kim Jong-Un. Once Kim Jong-Il feels confident that his military will accept the youngest of his three sons, "my guess is that the North Koreans will come back to the bargaining table," a senior U.S. official said. The succession intrigues of a dysfunctional family - a road-show "Dynasty" - would be laughable except for the fact that North Korea is a rogue power whose nuclear weapons … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Il uses Bill Clinton’s visit to free journalists to groom Kim Jong-Un
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea pushed forward with preparations to test-fire more missiles in the wake of last week's nuclear test as leader Kim Jong Il moved to anoint his third son as heir to the world's first communist dynasty, reports and experts said Tuesday.At least four missiles were spotted being readied at North Korean launch pads: a long-range missile on the west coast near China and three to four medium-range missiles on the east coast. U.S. military officials confirmed the preparations of a Taepodong-2 capable of striking the U.S., and the Yonhap news agency cited a lawmaker briefed by defense officials for the east coast launch.North Korea was also strengthening its defenses and conducting amphibious assault exercises along its western shore — possible preparations for skirmishes at sea, reports said. South Korea deployed a guided-missile, high-speed boat to the area to stamp out any provocations, the navy said.As tensions continued to escalate — with … [Read more...] about North Korea’s Kim Jong Il names youngest son Kim Jong Un successor as country readies missile tests
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has an older brother who likes to rock out. Kim’s older brother Kim Jong Chul, 33, showed up for two Eric Clapton concerts in a row on Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London, BBC reported. Videos of Kim Jong Il’s middle son showed him walking into the historic venue clad in a black leather jacket and sunglasses while surrounded by aides who were trying to block the cameras. Other footage shown by CNN displays the autocrat’s older brother enjoying the English blues and rock legend’s show from his seats. The blood descendant of the totalitarian communist state’s ruling family stayed at West London’s $3,000-per-night Chelsea Harbor Hotel this week, according to South Korean news service Yonhap. Kim caught previous Clapton performances in Germany in 2006 and Singapore in 2011, BBC reported. “He was just like any other fan, but there were … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Un’s rock fan older brother seen at Eric Clapton concerts in London: reports