Early last year, I was being interviewed regarding my book on Kim Jong Il. At one point, the host referred to Kim Jong Il as a "campy" figure. "That's a very unfortunate choice of words," I told her. Her mortification was immediate and apparent.
If his first two years are any indication of what is to come, northeast Asia will continue to reverberate from the uncertainty and unpredictability that has become the hallmark of the Kim Dynasty.
Kim the Third might seem, with his Falstaffian girth, more a figure of humor than a figure to be feared. Appearances have proven deceiving. He has quickly demonstrated that, like his grandfather, he will act decisively and ruthlessly to maintain his perch.
Is taking foreign visitors captive the way that Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, earns his battle stripes ("A...
It's a dictatorship of the most extreme kind, a cult of personality beyond anything Stalin or Mao could have imagined, a country as closed off to the world and as secretive as they come -- a true hermit kingdom. So why would an American tourist ever be allowed into the country?
Denying food to the hungry, chemo to the cancer-stricken? That is not American. That is what ruthless dictators do. That is the stuff of Kim Jong-il. That is not how Americans treat each other.
At the brand-new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas, everybody's favorite former president, George W. Bush, wants you to know he tried really, really hard. And he seems to be asking: Would you, average American, have done any better?
After more than 30 years of humanitarian aid operations in some of the world's most dangerous and/or autocratically-run places, I felt that it was at least worth a try to see what access an international NGO could have to people in need.
It would be prudent for those who assert that Kim Jong-Un is merely spreading his military wings in a peacock-like manifestation of fancy to realize that that responding to his rhetorical and comical displays is counterproductive.
North Korea, which has always been a place of equality and freedom, fears all may be lost, thanks to a new sketch comedy video that has surfaced early this week.
The North Korean leadership has used its nuclear program for theatrical purposes from the very beginning. It has relied on the spectacle of rocket launches and covert nuclear facilities to keep the attention of its foreign and domestic audiences.
In North Korea, the images of the Great Leader Kim il Sung and the Great General Kim Jong il are everywhere. This is not a Soviet-style cult of personality. Leader-worship here is a full-fledged religion.
The comedic gags with spilled ashes and a dancing corpse are one thing. They are meant to be humorous. However, we should remember the ethic of respecting the dead.
The death of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, who died a month ago, interestingly looks like a continuation of what has swept many countries who are ...
If anything has become clear in the weeks following Kim Jong Il's passing, it is that regime collapse is not in the cards for North Korea.
As North Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong Il, and the world wonders what the future holds with his 20-something untested youngest son set to take control of a nuclear nation, my thoughts return to a somewhat unlikely visit to a country like no other.