Connect to share and comment

North Korea test fires missile after Kim Jong Il's death

"North Korea test-fired a short-range missile this morning ... it has been closely monitored by our military authorities," said an unnamed South Korean government official.

Kim Jong Il: Top 10 weird facts about N Korea's late leader

From his breeding giant rabbits to a fear of flying, the "Dear Leader" was a bit strange.
GlobalPost picks out the ten most bizarre facts about North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Il's funeral planned as North Korea mourns (VIDEO)

A "farewell-bidding ceremony" will be held in Pyongyang on December 28, followed by a national memorial service on December 29.

Kim Jong Il dead: Asian anxiety reigns

BANGKOK — Following an announcement that Jong Il suffered a fatal heart attack in a train carriage, North Korea’s unpredictability is driving its enemies to brace for the worst.

Kim Jong Il dead: What's next for North Korea?

Assuming Kim Jong Il was not killed but died naturally, the focus will be on his brother-in-law Jang Song Taek, who appears to have acted as his right hand since his illness became serious.

Dear Leader: Why do you hate Christmas?

South Korea wants to light some trees on the border. Scary.

Dear Leader,

Hi. Quick question: Why do you hate Christmas?

I just heard that South Korea is going to allow Christian groups to light three giant Christmas trees along the North Korean border. Seems nice.

But then on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera, your state-run Uriminzokkiri website called the effort a "mean attempt at psychological warfare," and said that following through would yield an "unexpected consequence."

More from GlobalPost: North Korea says Christmas lights are "psychological warfare"

Now, I know relatons aren't great between the North and the South, especially at the border. And I know that South Korea lit a tree there last year — after seven years of not doing so, and in the immediate aftermath of the strike on Yeonpyeong Island that killed more than 40 people and was blamed on the North.

So, I can understand why you would be sensitive about the border. But "psychological warfare"? Don't you think that's a bit extreme?

And by "unexpected consequence," do you mean you will take some kind of military action against them? I realize it's worded intentionally to be ambiguous, so that's why I'm writing to clarify.

Because "unexpected consequence," to me, could be like Santa coming. That would be an awesome and, yes, unexpected consequence of three massive Christmas trees shining lights all the way on into North Korea.

North Korea expert and author of "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader," Bradley Martin, said he doesn't think you hate Christmas. He pointed out that in 1980, when you were officially elected to the five-person presidium of the politburo, the party newspaper Rodong Shinmun (Workers' Daily) wrote:

"People of the world, if you are looking for miracles, come to Korea! Christians, do not go to Jerusalem. Come rather to Korea. Do not believe in God. Believe in the great man."  

Martin told me that, far from hating Christmas, that you may actually love it. Love it so much you want to be it.

The North Koreans offered foreigners a pair of replacements for the father and son of the Christian trinity: "the star of guidance shining together with the benevolent sun" — the latter being, of course, KJI's old man, Kim Il Sung.

"I guess they just haven't gotten around to erecting their own tree," wrote Martin. "Or, more likely, they don't have enough electricity to light one up competitvely."


China pledges stronger military ties with North Korea

An official dinner "proceeded in an amicable atmosphere overflowing with friendship," North Korean official media said.

Kim Jong Il writes to Syria's Assad

To extend congratulations and say he hopes all is well.

Dear Leader,

Hi. It's me, Emily, again. I thought to write to you today because I saw that you're also sending some warm holiday messages of your own.

According to state-run KCNA media, you wrote to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to send your well wishes on the 41st anniversary of the corrective movement in Syria.


North Korea: So, we're not broken up?

I was wondering, Mr. Kim, if you could tell me what changed your mind.

Dear Leader,

Hi! It's been a couple weeks since I last wrote, and I hope you've been well in the meantime. Things in Boston have been busy!

So busy, in fact, that I didn't get a chance to write last week when I heard about the pending talks between the United States and North Korea.


Dear Kim Jong Il

I don't expect you to write back right away or anything, Mr. Kim. For now, I just wanted to say hi.

Dear Leader,

Hi. My name is Emily Lodish and I am the Asia editor at GlobalPost. I don't know if you've heard of us, but we're a relatively new international news outlet based in Boston, Mass.

Boston's great. Our offices are on the harbor (that's Boston Harbor), and I get to look at boats all day out my window. The weather has turned in the last couple weeks, and fall is officially here.

Do you get fall in North Korea? I realize that I don't know the answer to that question, which seems like such a simple question.

Syndicate content