Kim Jong Il http://www.globalpost.com/taxonomy/term/19637/all en Whatever happened to North Korea? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110408/north-korea-kim-jong-il <p> BANGKOK &mdash;&nbsp;Kim Jong Il&#39;s begging abroad for food aid may be&nbsp;part of a scheme to build up war reserves before further provocations of South Korea.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110408/north-korea-kim-jong-il" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea World Leaders South Korea Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:50:00 +0000 Bradley K. Martin 5636469 at http://www.globalpost.com Daily life in Pyongyang http://www.globalpost.com/internal/gallery/5636631 The regime is said to be growing increasingly concerned about dissent in North Korea, where people continue to struggle under Kim Jong Il's oppressive rule. Kim Jong Il North Korea South Korea Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:55:00 +0000 News Desk 5636631 at http://www.globalpost.com Kim Jong Il predicts the future http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/110415/kim-jong-ils-predicts-the-future <p> Can Kim pull off a miracle in 12 months?</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/110415/kim-jong-ils-predicts-the-future" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il Conflict Zones Asia-Pacific Fri, 15 Apr 2011 22:08:00 +0000 David Case 5638095 at http://www.globalpost.com Kim Jong Il snubs Jimmy Carter http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110430/kim-jong-il-north-korea-jimmy-carter-diplomacy <p> BEIJING &mdash; Analysts say the only reason Pyongyang received the former U.S. president was in an attempt to draw food aid from the United States.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110430/kim-jong-il-north-korea-jimmy-carter-diplomacy" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Nuclear Conflict Zones Diplomacy South Korea Sat, 30 Apr 2011 21:18:00 +0000 Sunny Lee 5641400 at http://www.globalpost.com North Korea's political prisoners: 200,000 and counting http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-koreas-political-prisoners-200000-and-counting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New satellite images over the Dear Leader's homeland show enormous prison camps that Amnesty says are growing in size. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/images-reveal-scale-north-korean-political-prison-camps-2011-05-03">Amnesty International</a> has a disturbing dose of news from North Korea &mdash; complete with visual aid.</p> <p> Prison camps in the wilderness of South Pyongan, South Hamkyung and North Hamkyung provinces, which have apparently been around since the 1950s, now appear to be growing in size, according to the global human rights watchdog.</p> <p> Recent satellite images show four camps, where Amnesty says at least <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/03/us-northkorea-prisons-idUSTRE74275D20110503">200,000 political prisoners</a> are being kept in conditions that resemble slavery.</p> <p> A comparison with satellite pictures from 2001 indicates a significant increase in the scale of the camps, according to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/03/us-northkorea-prisons-idUSTRE74275D20110503">Reuters</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;These are places out of sight of the rest of the world, where almost the entire range of human rights protections that international law has tried to set up for last 60 years are ignored,&rdquo; said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International Asia Pacific Director.</p> <p> Check out the<a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/images-reveal-scale-north-korean-political-prison-camps-2011-05-03"> images</a> at Amnesty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-koreas-political-prisoners-200000-and-counting" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea The Rice Bowl Wed, 04 May 2011 02:39:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5642261 at http://www.globalpost.com How North Koreans get their laughs http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/communist-propaganda-north-koreans-kim-jong-il <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> By reinterpreting Party slogans, North Koreans show their sense of humor as well as their growing dislike of the regime. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Like any good Communist nation, North Korea is rife with stilted slogans and propaganda involving farm imagery.</p> <p> A phrase like &ldquo;What the Party decides, we do&rdquo; &mdash; coined in the mid-1980s &mdash; is clearly intended to instill a sense of loyalty in the Workers&#39; Party of Korea.</p> <p> But given the increasingly <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110408/north-korea-kim-jong-il">dire economic situation</a> in North Korea, people are losing faith in Kim Jong Il. And they are expressing their cynicism through reinterpretations of government slogans, reports the <a href="http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&amp;num=7661">Daily NK</a>.</p> <p> A phrase like, &quot;What the Party decides, we do&quot; has come to justify in people&#39;s minds the corruption and wrongdoing on the part of the Party. And, as such, has given rise to the sarcastic quip: &ldquo;If you are doing it, surely it is something anyone can do?&rdquo;</p> <p> The Daily NK reports that the slogan, &ldquo;The collective farm field is my vegetable garden&quot; (1987) is another good example.</p> <p> &quot;Originally, by alluding to the collective farm as being public property, this saying dressed labor up as an act leading to personal benefit and encouraged solidarity. However, as rations failed, workers stole grains from farms under the aegis of that very slogan, because after all, &#39;Since this is my farm, my taking from it is not theft.&#39;&quot;</p> <p> By spinning Party slogans, North Koreans also show their sense of humor.</p> <p> Here&#39;s a few more choice transformations:</p> <p> &ldquo;Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are a great sun for the people,&rdquo; has been turned into &ldquo;They are indeed the sun; if you go too close you burn to death and freeze if you go too far away.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/communist-propaganda-north-koreans-kim-jong-il" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Culture & Lifestyle South Korea The Rice Bowl Wed, 11 May 2011 22:42:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5644191 at http://www.globalpost.com Hey, Kim Jong Il, how you doin'? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/kim-jong-il-north-korea-hunger <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Recent pictures of the reclusive leader suggest the answer is "pretty good." </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> It&#39;s between harvests in North Korea, and the masses are hungry.</p> <p> Or are they?</p> <p> Skeptics say the North is always short on food and that this year&#39;s harvest was actually slightly better than last year&#39;s.</p> <p> The North may very well be <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/18/us-korea-north-food-idUSTRE74H1E720110518">trying to stockpile</a> rations before the 2012 anniversary of the state founder&#39;s birth, they say. North Korea traditionally gives out extra rations to mark special occasions.</p> <p> The attached <a href="http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/05/19/2011051900663.html">pictures of Kim Jong Il</a> hint that there is at least plenty of food on his table.</p> <p> He looks rather sickly in the 2009 shot on the left, which he probably was since it wasn&#39;t long after he suffered a major stroke and a doctor proclaimed he had but three years to live.</p> <p> But on the right, you can see he&#39;s back to his podgy self.</p> <p> He&#39;s also gone back to wearing heels, incidentally, in order to appear taller than 5&#39;3&quot;.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/kim-jong-il-north-korea-hunger" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea World Leaders Food & Drink Health South Korea The Rice Bowl Thu, 19 May 2011 23:59:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5646073 at http://www.globalpost.com North Korea makes a play for foreign investors http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-foreign-investment-economic-strategy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> As Kim Jong Il snuggles up to China, Pyongyang announces a new economic strategy that goes against its isolationist tendencies. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Despite the fact that millions are reportedly going hungry in North Korea, the reclusive state has announced its ambitions to boost the country&#39;s GDP to $360-400 billion.</p> <p> That&#39;s up from $40 billion or so over the past few years, according to the CIA World Fact Book.</p> <p> Just how will Pyongyang do it?</p> <p> According to state-run Korean Central News Agency, North Korea has put attracting foreign investment at the heart of a 10-year strategy that involves setting up a National Development Bank and assigning an insurance company to protect foreign investors, reports the <a href="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/ME24Dg01.html">Asia Times Online</a>.</p> <p> The strategy appears to be a departure from the isolationist tendencies that North Korea has displayed for decades, but analysts say that this isn&#39;t the first time the North has made a play to open up &mdash; and then failed to do so.</p> <p> Regardless, it looks like the North will be getting by with a little <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/23/us-china-korea-north-idUSTRE74M08R20110523">help from a familiar friend</a>.</p> <p> Kim Jong Il is in China presently for what seems to mainly be economic reasons &mdash; and a little <a href="http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2936622">retail shopping</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-foreign-investment-economic-strategy" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea World Leaders Emerging Markets South Korea The Rice Bowl Tue, 24 May 2011 00:14:07 +0000 Emily Lodish 5646868 at http://www.globalpost.com North Korea defectors take to the "Underground Railroad" http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/110606/north-korean-defectors-thailand-refugees-underground-railroad <p> BANGKOK &mdash; Today, the so-called &ldquo;underground railroad&rdquo; traveled by North Korean defectors increasingly terminates in Thailand.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/110606/north-korean-defectors-thailand-refugees-underground-railroad" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Travel/Tourism Emerging Markets Aid Health South Korea Thailand Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:35:37 +0000 Patrick Winn 5649495 at http://www.globalpost.com North Korea: Is the end of Kim Jong Il the only hope? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110609/north-korea-kim-jong-il <p> NAGANO, Japan &mdash; Why not just come out and say it? All regional players would benefit from Kim Jong Il&#39;s removal.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/110609/north-korea-kim-jong-il" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il Nicolae Ceaucescu North Korea Romania World Leaders Conflict Zones Emerging Markets Europe Global Economy South Korea Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:34:00 +0000 Bradley K. Martin 5650187 at http://www.globalpost.com Cannibalism in North Korea http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/cannibalism-north-korea-world-hunger <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What if it wasn't just a rumor? A leaked official document raises concern. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/130127/new-rumors-surface-famine-induced-cannibalism-north-korea" target="_blank">Read the latest news on this topic</a>.</em></p> <p>Just when you thought North Korea couldn&#39;t get any more disturbing.</p> <p>A leaked official police document reportedly details at least one case of cannibalism.</p> <p><strong>Photos: <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/photo-galleries/5636631/daily-life-pyongyang" target="_blank">Daily life in Pyongyang</a></strong></p> <p>If true, the report would validate what has been rumored in the North for quite some time: that people are so hungry they are eating other people.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110620000650">Korea Herald</a>:</p> <blockquote><p class="rteindent1">&quot;The report, later obtained by South Korea&#39;s Caleb Mission, provided a rare look into the alleged cannibalism and other crimes, but it did not say whether cannibalism has become a widespread practice.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p class="rteindent1">In one account, a male guard who could not bear his hunger killed his colleague using an ax, ate some of the human flesh and sold the remainder in the market by disguising it as mutton, the report said, without giving any further details such as when the alleged crime occurred.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>The confidential, 791-page document, called a &quot;Manual for workers in law enforcement,&quot; chronicles 721 criminal cases. The majority of cases involved food.</p> <p>Five of the cases, according to the <a href="http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/articles/165620/20110619/north-korea-human-flesh-food-crisis-leak-police-kim-jongil.htm">International Business Times</a>, involved cannibalism.</p> <p>While there is some doubt as to the veracity of everything described in the report, its official nature leads experts to believe most of its contents can be taken as fact.</p> <p class="rteindent1">&ldquo;I have been studying North Korean laws for the last forty years and have never seen anything like this inner document of the North Korean law enforcement unit,&rdquo; said Jang Myung-bong, a specialist in North Korean laws.</p> <p class="rteindent1">&ldquo;It is a very critical resource in which we can take a peek on important changes of North Korean law and vividly depict the real life within the society.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/cannibalism-north-korea-world-hunger" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Aid Offbeat Health South Korea The Rice Bowl Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:59:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5653058 at http://www.globalpost.com Rare video footage smuggled out of North Korea http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/video-north-korea-kim-jong-il-starvation-military <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Soldiers, who used to be immune from famine, now say they too are going hungry. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Newly released footage shot over several months by an undercover North Korean journalist suggests that Kim Jong Il&#39;s iron fist is weakening.</p> <p> There are some images we might expect to see in a reclusive state known to be experiencing a famine &mdash; children caked in dirt begging for food from people who have nothing to give.</p> <p> But the video also sheds new light on how severe the food shortage is.</p> <p> For the first time, it seems, the all-powerful army, which used to be immune from famine, is also going hungry, reports the <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/27/3253979.htm">Australian Broadcasting Corp</a>, which obtained the exclusive footage this week after it was smuggled out to China.</p> <p> &quot;Everybody is weak,&quot; says one young North Korean soldier in the video. &quot;Within my troop of 100 comrades, half of them are malnourished,&quot; he said. The state no longer has the rice rations to give them.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/cannibalism-north-korea-world-hunger">(Another recent report told of a leaked official document out of North Korea chronicling at least five instances of cannibalism.)</a></p> <p> Kim&#39;s grip on power depends on the military. And a military full of soldiers with empty bellies is a recipe for discontent.</p> <p> Watch for yourself:</p> <p> <embed allowfullscreen="true" bgcolor="#000000" flashvars="mediaURL=http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/video/201106/20110627-korea-new_video2.flv&amp;autoPlay=true" height="191" id="inpageplayerObject" name="inpageplayerObject" quality="true" src="http://www.abc.net.au/news/swf/flvplayer.swf" style="height: 191px;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="338"></embed></p> <p> The video also shows North Koreans working on a private railway for the dictator&#39;s son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un.</p> <p> See photos of <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/photo-galleries/5636631/daily-life-pyongyang">everyday life in the capital, Pyongyang</a>. The government allowed these to be taken, though, so they&#39;re not nearly as telling of harsh city life.</p> <p> And should countries give <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/south-korea/110211/north-korea-aid-kim-jong-il">aid to North Korea?</a> You might think it&#39;s a no-brainer. Think again.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/video-north-korea-kim-jong-il-starvation-military" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Military Aid Health South Korea The Rice Bowl Mon, 27 Jun 2011 16:57:20 +0000 Emily Lodish 5660790 at http://www.globalpost.com North Korea: propaganda cartoons reach kids http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/propaganda-cartoon-north-korea-education <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In "Pencil Rocket," a young boy learns that he must studying hard, learn to use a protractor and fend off US enemies. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> You better learn to use a protractor.</p> <p> Or else you won&#39;t be able to fend off an attack by a fleet of US military tanks.&nbsp;</p> <p> That&#39;s the message in this North Korean cartoon, &quot;Pencil Rocket,&quot; made for the purpose of teaching kids how to use a protractor.</p> <p> Rife with hostility and anti-US sentiment, this piece of propaganda may be just the thing North Korean youngsters are eating for breakfast.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korean-kindergarten-children">(Read &quot;North Korean kindergarten no joke,&quot; for another window onto North Korean youngsters at school.)</a></p> <p> In the cartoon, a kid falls asleep while doing his homework. In his dream, a US fleet attacks but he can&#39;t retaliate because he can&#39;t set the angle correctly on his pencil rocket.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.rjkoehler.com/2011/06/27/north-korean-animation-pencil-rocket-on-youtube/">Marmot&#39;s Hole blog</a> has an in-depth plot summary, though the video below speaks for itself:</p> <p class="rteindent1"> The main character, Seok-Pil, is trying to catch a rabbit in the forest when a friend mocks him by saying, &ldquo;All you do is draw those pig-headed American bastards in class and now here you are playing war all by yourself.&rdquo; He then returns home and sits at his desk. The homework he has to do is on how to use a protractor. Seok-Pil is inciting his will to fight by drawing an American military helmet with the letters US written on it in his textbook when he suddenly falls asleep.</p> <p class="rteindent1"> In his dream the US fleet is coming to attack. He and his friend try to defeat the US soldiers by firing a rocket they have made from pencils, but they continue to fail because they can&rsquo;t correctly set the angle. This is because they didn&rsquo;t know how to use the protractor. Finally Seok-Pil awakes after suffering the counter-attacks of the American fleet. Seok-Pil states that he &ldquo;realizes that he needs to study hard in class and listen to his teachers to become a good soldier of the people.&rdquo; This leads into some math practice on accurately setting the center axis when measuring angles on the protractor.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/F-fEQBKvZfo?rel=0" width="425"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/propaganda-cartoon-north-korea-education" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Education South Korea The Rice Bowl Mon, 27 Jun 2011 19:51:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5660827 at http://www.globalpost.com AP to set up shop in North Korea (UPDATE) http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/ap-associated-press-north-korea <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What effect will the first permanent bureau operated by a Western news organization in Pyongyang have? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> AP announced today that it will be <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2011/06/29/looking-for-a-journa.html?dlvrit=36761">opening a bureau in Pyongang</a>.</p> <p> It will partner with the Korea Central News Agency to become &quot;the first permanent text and photo bureau operated by a Western news organization in the North Korean capital,&quot; according to the language of the <a href="http://www.ap.org/pages/about/pressreleases/pr_062911a.html">press release</a>.</p> <p> Another somewhat bizarre passage of the press release mentions that AP will be &quot;the exclusive distributor of contemporary and historic video from KCNA&rsquo;s archive,&quot; meaning, I suppose, that AP will have that unsettling market cornered.</p> <p> The big question here is will this be a genuine move toward opening up North Korea?</p> <p> North Korea expert and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Under-Loving-Care-Fatherly-Leader/dp/0312323220/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1307603910&amp;sr=8-2AP">&ldquo;Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty,&rdquo;</a> Bradley Martin, said he doesn&#39;t see the AP bureau making waves on a day-to-day basis.&nbsp;</p> <p> &quot;The big advantage of being there won&#39;t be seen until things fall apart and there&#39;s no one else to swing into action and report to the outside world,&quot; he wrote by email.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/ap-associated-press-north-korea" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea Education South Korea The Rice Bowl Wed, 29 Jun 2011 19:43:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5661827 at http://www.globalpost.com In North Korea, looks aren't everything http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-kim-jong-il-kim-pyong-il-kim-jong-un <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Or are they? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Don&#39;t hate Kim Pyong Il because he&#39;s beautiful.</p> <p> Rather, don&#39;t hate him because he looks like his dad. He can&#39;t help it.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/8610967/Kim-Jong-ils-half-brother-under-house-arrest-because-of-resemblance-to-Kim-Il-sung.html">Kim Pyong Il</a>, Kim Jong Il&#39;s half-brother and North Korea&#39;s current ambassador to Poland, is reportedly being held under house arrest in Pyongyang.</p> <p> Why?</p> <p> Because he looks a lot like his father, Kim Il Sung, the North&#39;s founding leader.</p> <p> This is a problem because <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/north-korea/100927/kim-jong-il-un-succession">Kim Jong Un</a>, the son and likely successor of Kim Jong Il, has been in the business of trying to look like Kim Il Sung himself (some even say he&#39;s gotten <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1317958/Has-Kim-Jong-Un-plastic-surgery-look-like-grandfather-Kim-Il-Sung.html">plastic surgery</a> to seal the deal).</p> <p> It would look bad if someone who wasn&#39;t even trying did a better job, wouldn&#39;t it?</p> <table align="left" border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="1" style="width: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <img alt="" src="http://english.chosun.com/site/data/img_dir/2011/07/01/2011070100410_0.jpg" style="width: 160px; height: 237px; float: left; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> Kim Pyong Il.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> An unnamed source told the <a href="http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/07/01/2011070100412.html">Chosun Ibo</a> that:</p> <p class="rteindent1 rteindent2"> Anyone who is believed to pose an obstacle to Kim Jong-un&#39;s succession, even members of his own family, is subject to elimination.</p> <p> Hence, the quarantine.</p> <p> The North generally looks back on the rule of Kim Il Sung with nostalgia, as a time when there was enough food and a higher standard of living.</p> <p> <strong>(Read more: <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/video-north-korea-kim-jong-il-starvation-military">Rare video footage smuggled out of North Korea</a>.)</strong></p> <p> Kim Pyong Il returned to the North from his diplomatic post in Poland in May to visit his dying mother, according to reports.</p> <p> Many say he has grown accustomed to life overseas and isn&#39;t looking to move back to a militaristic dictatorship where millions of people are starving.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-kim-jong-il-kim-pyong-il-kim-jong-un" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kim Jong Il North Korea World Leaders South Korea The Rice Bowl Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:46:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5669367 at http://www.globalpost.com