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Meet Kim Jong Il’s personal poet laureate Jang Jin Sung

As spin-doctoring goes, Jang Jin Sung had one of the world’s hardest jobs. His mandate: breathing beauty into the affairs of a ruthless despot. He was the personal poet laureate to Kim Jong Il, who ruled North Korea until his death in 2011……

North Korea says Kim’s body to lie in state

SEOUL — North Korea Thursday announced plans to honour late leader Kim Jong-Il, saying his body would lie in state in a Pyongyang palace and memorial towers would be built nationwide. Kim died on December 17 of a heart attack at age 69 after 17 years in charge of the…

North Koreans told to go gloveless at funeral: report

SEOUL — North Korean civilians were ordered not to wear hats or gloves for the snowy funeral of leader Kim Jong-Il because his son and successor chose to escort the hearse bare-headed, a report said Tuesday. Daily NK, a Seoul-based online newspaper run by defectors, said it had received information…

Seoul sees ‘turning point’ with N. Korea

South Korea’s President Lee Myung-Bak said Monday the divided peninsula is at a turning point after the death of North Koreanleader Kim Jong-Il, with opportunities to improve relations. But Lee also vowed to hit back hard against any provocations from the North under the leadership of its young new chief Kim Jong-Un, son of the late dictator.…

North Koreans urged to defend Jong-Un ‘unto death’

North Korea urged its people Sunday to defend new leader Kim Jong-Un to the death and vowed an all-out push for prosperity, in a New Year state newspaper editorial setting out policy goals. “The whole party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they…

N. Korea says policy won’t change, threatens Seoul

North Korea warned the world Friday to expect no policy changes under new leader Kim Jong-Un, and threatened retaliation against South Korea for “rubbing salt” into the wounds of its grieving people. The tough statement came a day after the communist nation ended 13 days of mourning for late leader…

N. Korea acclaims new supreme leader at huge parade

North Korea on Thursday staged a massive memorial service for Kim Jong-Il to end 13 days of official mourning, and formally declared his untested young son Jong-Un as the new supreme leader. Addressing tens of thousands of troops and civilians packing a wintry Pyongyang square, ceremonial head of state Kim…

North Korea prepares huge send-off for late leader

North Korea was Tuesday preparing a massive ceremonial farewell to late leader Kim Jong-Il as it strove to strengthen a new personality cult around his youthful son and successor Jong-Un. The secretive state has so far given no details of Wednesday’s funeral for its “Dear Leader” of the past 17…

Kim Jong-Il’s eldest son ‘under Chinese protection’

The eldest son of North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-Il has arrived in Beijing as Pyongyang prepares a state funeral for his father, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Monday. Citing what it called a source familiar with Kim Jong-Nam’s activities, it said he arrived in Beijing from Macau a few days ago and “has been placed under Chinese protection”. Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said it…

Kim Jong-Il’s last ‘loving’ gift to the people — fish

Kim Jong-Il’s “loving care” for the North Korean people lingers even beyond his death, with residents in the capital enjoying a special treat of fresh fish, official media reported Saturday. The late leader took steps on the eve of his demise to supply the rare luxury, and his son and…

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