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Author Topic: The Great Korea Thread  (Read 2721 times)
politicus
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« on: March 28, 2012, 04:18:44 am »
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For all things Korean - North and South.

At the moment there is some North Korean stuff in the China GD thread and it should be moved
The two North Korea threads about the regime's possible collapse and it's unusual execution methods could also be put here.
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 04:23:22 am »
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So, do you think the Norks are going to launch the satelite (test the missile) next month?  And if so, will the Japanese/US shoot it down?  Will the PRC and Russia back sanctions against them like they are claiming now?
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 04:51:54 am »
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 12:17:20 am »
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When was the last time you posted something useful?


Anyway, US Suspends Food Assistance to N.Korea
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The United States says it has suspended a food aid package to North Korea in response to Pyongyang's plans to carry out a missile launch next month. While the North says its plan to hurl the satellite into space is peaceful, the U.S. and other countries say the launch could help it further its ballistic missile technology.

Peter Lavoy, the acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, told a congressional hearing the U.S. is working together with allies in the region to try and discourage the North from going ahead with the launch because it would violate Pyongyang's international commitments. He says that failure of North Korea to follow through on what it has promised raises concerns about the nutritional assistance the U.S. has offered as well.

"We have been forced to suspend our activities to provide nutritional assistance to North Korea largely because we have now no confidence that the monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the food assistance goes to the starving people and not the regime elite," Lavoy said.

Late last month, North Korea announced it would temporarily suspend nuclear tests, long-range ballistic missile launches and other nuclear activities. In return, Washington, pledged to provide the North with 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance.

The aid package was expected to target the most needy in North Korea - including malnourished young children and pregnant women.

U.S. food aid to the North had been suspended since Pyongyang expelled U.S. food monitors in 2009 after U.S. officials voiced concerns about food distribution.

<snip>
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 01:13:41 am »
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The Norks have started fueling the rocket.  Launch expected sometime between Thursday and Monday.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 09:03:55 am »
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The Norks have started fueling the rocket.  Launch expected sometime between Thursday and Monday.

I will be shocked if they don't attempt a launch on Sunday, as that is the 100th birthday of their Eternal President.
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 06:17:21 pm »
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The Norks have started fueling the rocket.  Launch expected sometime between Thursday and Monday.

I will be shocked if they don't attempt a launch on Sunday, as that is the 100th birthday of their Eternal President.
And much more importantly, it is my 16th birthday Tongue. I'm almost 100% certain that they will launch of the 15th.
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 07:23:49 pm »
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A big-ass bronze statue of Kim #2 has been unveiled next to the equally big-ass statue of Kim #1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJTptIV38k&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 08:07:32 pm »
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A big-ass bronze statue of Kim #2 has been unveiled next to the equally big-ass statue of Kim #1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJTptIV38k&feature=player_embedded
Does anybody know the military song that begins at 0:25 in that video. I have seen it in their military parades, and I must admit---I like it Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 01:42:17 pm »
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Yesterday, Kim Jong-Un gave a 20 minute speech.

Wouldn't be shocking in most places, but Kim's dad Kim Jong-Il didn't give a single speech in his 17 years running North Korea.
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 02:49:46 pm »
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Yesterday, Kim Jong-Un gave a 20 minute speech.

Wouldn't be shocking in most places, but Kim's dad Kim Jong-Il didn't give a single speech in his 17 years running North Korea.
He once said "Glory to the Peoples Army" but that was it.
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politicus
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 02:58:01 pm »
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Yesterday, Kim Jong-Un gave a 20 minute speech.

Wouldn't be shocking in most places, but Kim's dad Kim Jong-Il didn't give a single speech in his 17 years running North Korea.
He once said "Glory to the Peoples Army" but that was it.
It dependens how you define a speech. He often visited factories and collective farms and gave "advice" to the workers - sometimes in the form of peptalks.
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 10:52:06 am »
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China has suspended its agreement to repatriate illegal North Koreans. Officially this is over the rocket "launch", but one anonymous government official said he "can't ignore" the fact that repatriated North Koreans are jailed or worse. Will we see a rush across the border similar to the rush of East Germans into Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1989?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jJITPOH0kU5F5f0tK3EgikhNrBmA?docId=CNG.a8c1c3e2edf92a30cc1b3c9bd5ed11c1.1f1
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politicus
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 11:13:19 am »
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I doubt the Chinese will accept mass exodus. They will probably shut the border again, if refugees start coming in huge numbers. But if they don't, this could potentially be the "beginning of the end" for the regime.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 12:19:17 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 11:18:55 am »
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I doubt the Chinese will accept mass exodus. They will probably shut the border again, if refugees start coming in huge numbers. But if they don't, this could potentially be the end for the regime.

I think this decision was driven by the internal power struggle within the Chinese Politburo and not out of any particular humanitarian concerns. And besides, most North Koreans who do cross into China nowadays are informal traders who see border guards merely as toll collectors, which never happened in East Germany. We have no idea of figuring out what North Koreans think, but they have much less access to foreign information than East Germans did. Kim Il Sung was definitely popular among North Koreans and his family may retain some loyalty among the population. AFAIK this was never true about the SED leadership.
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politicus
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2012, 11:30:01 am »
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I doubt the Chinese will accept mass exodus. They will probably shut the border again, if refugees start coming in huge numbers. But if they don't, this could potentially be the end for the regime.
I think this decision was driven by the internal power struggle within the Chinese Politburo and not out of any particular humanitarian concerns.
That's obvious. Unsure what your point is? Do you support my view that they will shut the border again if the refugees start coming in large numbers or ...

Quote
And besides, most North Koreans who do cross into China nowadays are informal traders who see border guards merely as toll collectors, which never happened in East Germany. We have no idea of figuring out what North Koreans think, but they have much less access to foreign information than East Germans did. Kim Il Sung was definitely popular among North Koreans and his family may retain some loyalty among the population. AFAIK this was never true about the SED leadership.
Nah, but we do know that living conditions are pretty horrible, which is always a powerfull motivator for human action. The regime is also not able to shut out all info to the degree they used to do.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 12:20:58 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2012, 11:40:45 am »
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I doubt the Chinese will accept mass exodus. They will probably shut the border again, if refugees start coming in huge numbers. But if they don't, this could potentially be the end for the regime.

I think this decision was driven by the internal power struggle within the Chinese Politburo and not out of any particular humanitarian concerns.
That's obvious. What is your point? Do you support my view that they will shut the border again or ...

Quote
And besides, most North Koreans who do cross into China nowadays are informal traders who see border guards merely as toll collectors, which never happened in East Germany. We have no idea of figuring out what North Koreans think, but they have much less access to foreign information than East Germans did. Kim Il Sung was definitely popular among North Koreans and his family may retain some loyalty among the population. AFAIK this was never true about the SED leadership.
Nah, but we do know that living conditions are pretty horrible, which is always a powerfull motivator for human action. The regime is also not able to shut out all info to the degree they used to do.

This decision is very clearly another slap in the face committed by the Hu/Wu faction in the Politburo against Bo Xilai's people since he was fired. From now they'll probably tolerate North Koreans who quietly make their way to foreign embassies or find menial jobs. They definitely won't tolerate a high-profile rush across borders. Kim Jong Un needs face, after all.

Besides, in many dictatorships the central leadership retains considerable popularity and the local officials are blamed for any problems. East Germany was a rare exception thanks to the widespread availability of western media. In North Korea, radio sets are pre-tuned to government stations.
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2012, 01:29:48 pm »
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I doubt the Chinese will accept mass exodus. They will probably shut the border again, if refugees start coming in huge numbers. But if they don't, this could potentially be the end for the regime.

I think this decision was driven by the internal power struggle within the Chinese Politburo and not out of any particular humanitarian concerns.
That's obvious. What is your point? Do you support my view that they will shut the border again or ...

Quote
And besides, most North Koreans who do cross into China nowadays are informal traders who see border guards merely as toll collectors, which never happened in East Germany. We have no idea of figuring out what North Koreans think, but they have much less access to foreign information than East Germans did. Kim Il Sung was definitely popular among North Koreans and his family may retain some loyalty among the population. AFAIK this was never true about the SED leadership.
Nah, but we do know that living conditions are pretty horrible, which is always a powerfull motivator for human action. The regime is also not able to shut out all info to the degree they used to do.

This decision is very clearly another slap in the face committed by the Hu/Wu faction in the Politburo against Bo Xilai's people since he was fired. From now they'll probably tolerate North Koreans who quietly make their way to foreign embassies or find menial jobs. They definitely won't tolerate a high-profile rush across borders. Kim Jong Un needs face, after all.

Besides, in many dictatorships the central leadership retains considerable popularity and the local officials are blamed for any problems. East Germany was a rare exception thanks to the widespread availability of western media. In North Korea, radio sets are pre-tuned to government stations.

Don't forget the in-house speakers as well.
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2012, 01:47:58 pm »
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So we basically agree that the Chinese will shut the border if things start to get serious. Just didn't understand the "not out of humanitarian concerns" remark. It was pretty weird in this context since no-one in their right mind would argue that the Chinese regime does anything out of humanitarian concerns.

Regarding info level I think its pretty obvious, that NK is not nearly as secluded as it used to be. I cant currently find the references I am looking for, so Ill just quote our "resident Korea expert" seanobr from the North Korean Collapse thread.

"With respect to the question of ideological indoctrination, the foundation of the state is already being penetrated by hallyu, the proliferation of outside media, increasing personal interaction with China, cynicism engendered by the government's dysfunction, and the D.P.R.K.'s own attempt to embrace technology, such as the Orascom mobile network. How the information gleaned from such experience will interact with the perception of North Korean reality is entirely subjective.  On the one hand, there is probably a degree of self-selection, in that those who communicate regularly with the South and dance along the Chinese border are not illustrative of broader D.P.R.K. society; at the same time, the North's narrative of injustice, the memory of Kim Il-sung, Korean nationalism, and America's own role in the division of the peninsula still can be an extremely poignant combination. By tolerating the jangmadang, the North has tacitly accepted that its writ is no longer incontrovertible, and since I believe the state will never resurrect its command economy, the deterioration can only continue and even accelerate".

To be fair, his analysis continues:

"The issue, however, is not exposure to the outside in and of itself, but whether it will ever become actionable -- the potential for discontent and antipathy targeted at the current regime to manifest given the proper context, and that is unknowable, which is why I wouldn't formulate foreign policy with it in mind. The North's complete suppression of civil society and extreme social regimentation make the coordination required for an organic movement to extend itself nearly impossible, its manipulation of ideology is unparalleled, and a credible argument can be made that almost everyone in a position of substantial influence has a reason to preserve the state. Authoritarian rule is inherently fragile, but it can be sustainable".  

I am not sure I agree 100% with his evaluation. I think testimonys from refugees from NK show a high level of discontent with the regime, which could translate into spontaneous acts of desperation such as a huge wave of refugees trying to escape the country. But of course the views of refugees are far from unbiased.

The fact that the regime has proved so stable over time seems to convince everybody, that NK will stay the same forever, but the fact is that even NK is not immune to the effects of globalization.
Change is far from given, but not nearly as unlikely as most people tend to assume.'

Regarding SK popculture in NK see: http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=8112
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 03:04:02 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2012, 06:26:49 pm »
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Since China is reluctant to engage on any aspect of its Korean policy, there has never been confirmation of its position, but the popular assumption is that China was willing to implicitly tolerate the presence of those D.P.R.K. nationals who took care to be as unobtrusive as possible.  It certainly didn't appreciate the self-defeating spectacle outside of the Japanese consulate in Shenyang in 2002; it has attempted to prevent foreign governments from harboring North Korean defectors in their diplomatic missions in the past, and there was a rumor at the end of last year that it had extracted an agreement from Japan never to extend such protection going forward.  The essential quality of China's approach to the D.P.R.K., however, is still pragmatism, and while I don't think it possesses the ability or desire to prevent every refugee from crossing the border, the current arrangement has actually been beneficial for both governments.  The significant ethnic Korean population in China's northeast -- which has been exploited by the North Korean media in the past -- does make it easier than it otherwise would be for someone to migrate over the border, facilitating passage has become a lucrative form of illicit commerce, and the importance of the economic interaction taking place in China to the functioning of the North Korean state has militated against China taking the stringent action that Pyongyang might have once preferred.  Indeed, although Kim Jong-un was apparently responsible for an effort to secure the border during his rise to prominence, and immediately after Kim Jong-il's death there was an attempt to seal it, the latest report was that individuals were being permitted to travel into China without repercussions as long they returned with tribute to the state.  

It's not my intent to downplay the suffering of D.P.R.K. nationals in China -- overwhelmingly women forced into menial labor or sexual slavery and desperate to escape their plight -- or to imply that it is possible to travel back and forth between the two at will, but since the famine, when the number of refugees inside the country reached its peak, it has become increasingly possible for individuals to reach China and take advantage of opportunities there.  It will remain an extremely dangerous, degrading and miserable proposition, as much of the media attention on this subject has highlighted.  China has permitted D.P.R.K. security agents to operate in the border areas to identify transients, and the North is trying to eliminate as many of the traditional crossing paths as possible, but it is no longer uncommon, and the process has even become entrenched to an extent.  Those who do not actively attract attention or disrupt the equilibrium have a reasonable chance of remaining in China for an extended period of time.  Is anyone aware of how this might compare to the situation on China's border with Burma?

If China has elected to re-evaluate its position on the refugee issue, the influence of its own leadership succession turmoil may have played a role, and it's surprising to me that no one here noticed that Bo Xilai's replacement in Chongqing, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, was educated in Pyongyang.  I wonder, however, if we are not projecting the abstruse character of China's political scene onto an issue that should be seen as distinct.  China's transition may have forced it into an adjustment, but not in the manner of pure power competition that has been implied here.  In the first instance, whether or not it was because of a specific relationship he cultivated with the Chinese government, Hu Jintao's reluctance for confrontation, the evolving nature of China's D.P.R.K. policy, or his longevity -- being a personal guest of Hu Yaobang and the Chinese leadership on a journey to Shanghai in 1982 -- Kim Jong-il was accorded far more deference in China than he deserved.  Even after the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong incidents of 2010, Kim Jong-il's subsequent travels to China were free of the rancor one might have expected.  China was not as forthcoming with developmental assistance as the D.P.R.K. anticipated, and gracefully parried Kim Jong-il's request to renovate his obsolescent air force, but they immediately sent Kim Jong-un a photograph of Mao and his grandfather to signify their attachment after his unveiling at the 3rd Delegates Conference, and extended an invitation to Jong-un when he was still matriculating under his father.  It would not surprise me if, no longer having to interact with an adroit and senior Kim Jong-il, China is willing to be more assertive with respect to the D.P.R.K.  That is notable, because the substantial refugee repatriation in March of this year engendered an unexpected outpouring of condemnation, including a protracted protest in Seoul, the hunger strike of a South Korean parliamentarian, and even led a Congressional panel here to re-examine China's handling of D.P.R.K. nationals.  After the North declared its intent to launch a satellite to commemorate Kim Il-sung's centennial, China suddenly permitted a North Korean mother -- whose sister had already defected -- and her children that had been inhabiting a diplomatic legation in the country for two years to move on to Seoul, something that was interpreted as a tacit rebuke of Pyongyang.  It's undeniable that China has typically accepted and enabled North Korea's escalation of regional tension as an integral component of Pyongyang's foreign policy.  But at a meeting on April 7th in Ningbo, which was conveniently located in proximity to the rocket's submitted flight path, Yang Jiechi claimed China was 'troubled' by the pending launch, and the alacrity with which the U.N. Security Council issued a Presidential Statement deploring Pyongyang's act suggests to me that China's tolerance is at a minimum.  

Another interesting barometer is the degree to which the Chinese government circumscribes discourse in its media about North Korea, and while I'm not qualified to comment with any specificity, Adam Cathcart has been following this subject regularly since the start of the year.  In the period after Kim Jong-il's death, one of China's state media publications exhorted Kim Jong-un to leave his mark ideologically, much as Kim Jong-il was able to when he was a member of the party's Propaganda and Agitation Department; that statement can be interpreted differently, depending on how you view the D.P.R.K.'s existence, but I doubt that a putative satellite launch and a hypothetical third nuclear test was what the Chinese government had in mind.  I'm presuming that China, more than anything else, would like an international environment that is as stable as possible so its institutions, undoubtedly vulnerable even during an orderly transfer of power, are not overwhelmed by an unforeseen development requiring a decisive response.  North Korea, however, may require exactly the opposite in order for Kim Jong-un and his coterie to feel secure about their position, even though I doubt there is any legitimate challenge to their authority; if there is such a divergence, China will naturally do what is needed to protect itself while not trying to undermine its relationship with the North.  While a third nuclear test will lead to North Korea's denunciation and produce a frantic search for additional punitive measures that can be enacted against it, as much if not more opprobrium will be directed at China for not adequately restraining its ally, and I don't think that's something China would like to deal with at the moment.  If China is going to temporarily uphold non-refoulement, it is a clear admonishment of Pyongyang, seeing as all of the behavior attributable to Kim Jong-un's succession thus far has been in a direction of reasserting state control, including, as I noted above, making border crossing more problematic.  

In my subjective reading, there is more suspicion in their relationship than at any point since the D.P.R.K.'s first nuclear test compelled China to support U.N. resolution 1718, and an increasing sense in China that the imbalance between the two, in that China can neither renounce the D.P.R.K. nor meaningfully inhibit its behavior without imperiling Pyongyang's survival, has to eventually be rectified.  As I have mentioned here before, China will never abandon North Korea so long as America is conveying the impression that it cannot countenance a reduction in its importance to East Asia; that doesn't mean China is going to allow itself to be exploited.  Similarly, Kim Jong-il devoted his entire tenure as paramount leader to vainly attempting to normalize his relationship with America so as to reduce his dependency on China, and I have no doubt he imparted that lesson to Kim Jong-un.  China may take advantage of the next year to illustrate, in its own way, that Kim Jong-un is not his father and cannot take China's role as the North's cupbearer for granted; or this may simply be the natural reaction of a China that is more sensitive about its image than ever before.  I would not overstate the importance of Beijing's leadership succession, and I think it's perfectly explicable in the context of China's interaction with North Korea since Kim Jong-il's demise.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 09:01:30 pm by seanobr »Logged

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politicus
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2014, 05:04:37 pm »
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Activists from South Korea sends balloons carrying anti-regime pamphlets across the border. Norks are pissed and threatens to stop talks with South Korea.

The defector-led group Fighters for Free North Korea released 200,000 leaflets condemning the regime encased in helium-buoyed balloons.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/north-korea-condemns-anti-government-leaflets

« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 06:02:39 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2014, 09:55:57 am »
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/26/northkorea-kim-idUSL3N0RR2ZU20140926
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(Reuters) - Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is suffering from "discomfort", state media has said in the first official acknowledgement of ill health after a prolonged period out of the public eye.

Kim, 31, who is frequently the centrepiece of the isolated country's propaganda, has not been photographed by state media since appearing at a concert alongside his wife on Sept. 3, fuelling speculation he is suffering from bad health.
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2014, 04:14:23 pm »
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/26/northkorea-kim-idUSL3N0RR2ZU20140926
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(Reuters) - Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is suffering from "discomfort", state media has said in the first official acknowledgement of ill health after a prolonged period out of the public eye.

Kim, 31, who is frequently the centrepiece of the isolated country's propaganda, has not been photographed by state media since appearing at a concert alongside his wife on Sept. 3, fuelling speculation he is suffering from bad health.
How does a 28 year old manage to be that unhealthy?? Was he strung out on crack from 2001 until 2011 or something?
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2014, 04:34:27 pm »
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It may have been a botched assassination attempt.
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2014, 04:47:38 pm »
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It may have been a botched assassination attempt.
Uncle Jang strikes from beyond the grave, perhaps?
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