Los Angeles Times - 21 minuti faNorth Korean state-run television announced that dictator Kim Jong Un had married a woman named Ri Sol Ju.North Korean leader's mystery woman is not his sister Christian Science Monitor
North Korea confirms Kim Jong Un is married Sydney Morning Herald
North Korea TV confirms leader Kim is married Hindustan Times
The Guardian - Voice of America (blog)
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ABC News - 6 minuti faNorth Korean state media ended weeks of speculation today, announcing that the mystery woman who has accompanied North Korean leader ...
Toronto Star - 13 minuti faKCNA/REUTERS North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (second from left) and his wife, who was named by the state broadcaster as Ri Sol-ju, visit ...
The Economist - 16 ore faTHESE are unsettling times for watchers of North Korea. Scholars who used to pore over rambling documents on the philosophy of self-reliance ...IBTimes.co.ukNorth Korea Marshals Fun Wall Street Journal (blog)
North Korean power shuffle no surprise London Free Press
Town Hall - Journal of Turkish Weekly
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Fox News - 22 ore faA supposed lightning strike ruined the last major tournament for the North Korean women's soccer team.North Korean women's soccer team staying out of sight in Glasgow Globe and Mail
North Korean women's team staying out of sight San Francisco Chronicle
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RIA Novosti - 1 giorno faThe unconfirmed reports of a deadly shootout between rival military groups in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang that circulated online last ...North Korea: Moving Toward Chaos or Reform? Brookings Institution
Cyr: Ominous rumblings in North Korea The Times Herald
North Korea's cult of personality surrounds Kim CNN
The Hankyoreh - Bangkok Post
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Omaha World-Herald - 19 minuti fa» ePaper | Subscribe | Subscriber Services | Contact Us ...
Business Insider - 54 minuti faA North Korean news agency has released a story today about the growing popularity of the country's iPad clone, called “Achim” (아침), ...
Proactive Investors UK - 1 giorno faIf the ECB does not resume its bond-buying programme in Spain, the government would consider seeking a full sovereign bailout, according to Spanish press ...
Politico - 8 minuti faSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said its new, young leader Kim Jong Un is married, announcing it for the first time in a brief and ...
The country’s dictator, “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il, had presided over one of the most repressive regimes in the world until his death in December 2011, passing down his mantle of leadership to son Kim Jong-Un. The country is completely dedicated to the ideology of Juche, which means “self-reliance.”
The only acceptable religion is Juche, or “Kim Il-Sung-ism,” the cult of the deceased leader. All other religions are harshly repressed. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have died because of persecution, and up to 35,000 are currently in prisons or work camps. The true number of Christians is unknown, though estimated by most reliable sources to be around 100,000.
After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, North Korea has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population since the mid-1990s. Chronic food shortages and widespread malnutrition are rampant. North Korea's history of regional military provocations, proliferation of military-related items, long-range missile development, “weapons of mass destruction” programs and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community.
As Juche becomes increasingly weak and deluded, North Korea and its regime appear ever more vulnerable. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence depicts Jong-Un as "a volatile youth with a sadistic streak who may be even more unpredictable than his late father."
- Pray North Korean believers will persevere in what is probably the most difficult country to be a Christian.
- Pray for the leader and his cadre that the Holy Spirit will bring them to repentance and belief.
- Pray for a watershed moment in God’s timing that will bring thorough change, freedom and complete transformation to this land.
- Pray for safety for North Korean refugees in China who live in hiding and are hunted by Chinese and North Korean agents.
North Korea Profile
Persecution News - North KoreaUK Christians raise voice for North Korean believers
(January 26, 2012)
Christmas Blessing 2010 continues to bless North Koreans
(June 02, 2011)
Border guards kill five defectors
(January 13, 2011)
Christmas Blessing packages prepared for North Korean believers
(December 30, 2010)
Reach out to suffering North Korean believers this Christmas
(November 18, 2010)
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(October 21, 2010)
Underground church leaders executed
(August 12, 2010)
South Korean intelligence disputes circumstances of Kim Jong-il's death
It also disputed the official account of Kim Jong-il's death, telling MPs in Seoul he could not have died en route to a visit because his train had been stationary all weekend. Officials suggested the account could have been created to burnish his image as a Dear Leader devoted to his people.
A source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters that the military had vowed to support the "great successor" and an unnamed South Korean source told Yonhap news agency that Kim Jong-un had issued his first military order – for all units to return to their bases – just before the announcement of his father's death. The 28-year-old became vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' party and a four-star general last year.
Kim has taken the lead in mourning his father's death. Official media said more than five million North Koreans had gathered at monuments and memorials in Pyongyang since the announcement of Kim's death, aged 69, on Monday.
Dr Leonid Petrov, an expert on North Korea at the University of Sydney, said it would be crucial to see what new roles Kim Jong-un assumes and how other key positions are filled "in the coming days, months and even years".
A key question will be whether Kim replaces his father as chairman of the National Defence Commission (NDC).
"If it is Jang Song-thaek [the young general's uncle and vice-chairman of the NDC] it means Kim Jong-un will be more of a ceremonial figure. If he [Kim] goes straight to the chairman's seat — which would be logical — he will be very firmly put in the driving seat," he noted.
Petrov added that Kim Jong-il appeared to have prepared the ground for his son by purging officials over the past two years.
But analysts stress that Kim Jong-un will wield less power than his father, and that even Kim Jong-il ruled with the support of the military rather than with the supreme authority of the country's founder Kim Il-sung.
In Seoul, Won Sei-hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), threw the account of Kim Jong-il's death into question by saying there was no sign that Kim's special train ever left Pyongyang station over the weekend. He cited US satellite surveillance photos.
"We kept tabs on Kim's whereabouts until Thursday but could not locate him starting Friday," added Won, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
"There are signs that he tried to go somewhere [on Saturday morning] but died."
An unnamed intelligence official added: "We believe he died at home."
"Death on the train is possibly the best story that the North Korean regime can use to promote Kim as a hardworking leader who worked for the people until the moment he died. North Koreans would feel there's a huge difference between an easy and peaceful death in his bed and death at work far from home," a senior South Korean official told the Chosun Ilbo.
State media tributes have lauded Kim's devotion to duty and humility – even stressing that the photographs now hanging around the capital show him "in an ordinary jumper".
Military officials told the Chosun Ilbo that they believed Kim's train had travelled over the weekend, although a report from Yonhap news agency later challenged that account.
A researcher at a state-run thinktank argued: "It's a great risk to the credibility of the regime if it's later revealed that Kim died in his bed. They would think twice about lying about it."
In South Korea, a small group of activists and defectors gathered to launch giant balloons carrying 200,000 leaflets attacking Kim and the hereditary power transfer across the border.
North Korea has previously warned it would fire at its southern neighbour because of such pamphlets.
Some carried slogans such as "Kim Jong-il is in hell". One showed Kim Jong-il flanked by portraits of Muammar Gaddafi and Egypt's ousted president, Hosni Mubarak.
In Beijing, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and other top leaders followed president Hu Jintao by paying respects at North Korea's embassy.
All nine members of the Politburo standing committee – the top political body – have now visited, underlining China's determination to retain its influence and support a smooth transition in its neighbour.