Tag Archives: Kim Jong-il

Trump applauded North Korea’s leader after floating the possibility of a ‘major, major’ conflict in the region

President Donald Trump appeared to commend North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s ability to control his country.

“Not many 27-year-old men could go in and take over a regime,” Trump said in a Reuters interview published Thursday night. “Say what you want, but that’s not easy — especially at that age.”

Continue reading Trump applauded North Korea’s leader after floating the possibility of a ‘major, major’ conflict in the region


North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Executed Over 70 Officials Since Taking Power

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to mark the 21st anniversary of the death of founder Kim Il Sung in this undated picture released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 8, 2015. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed 70 officials since taking power in late 2011 in a “reign of terror” which far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father’s early rule, South Korean officials have said.

South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se, at a forum in Seoul, compared Kim Jong Un’s 70 executions with those of his late father, Kim Jong Il, who, he said, executed about 10 people during his first years in power.

Nordkorea Kim Jong Un at Mount Paektu

An official from South Korea’s National Intelligence Service confirmed the spy agency believes the younger Kim has executed about 70 officials but would not reveal how it obtained the information.

Mr Yun also said the younger Kim’s “reign of terror affects significantly” North Koreans working overseas by inspiring them to defect to the South.

Military personnel pay their respects to Kim Il Sung at a statue of their former leader and his son, Kim Jong Il, at Mansu Hill (AP)

North Korea, an authoritarian nation ruled by the Kim family since 1948, is secretive about its government’s inner workings, and information, even that collected by South Korean intelligence officials, is often impossible to confirm.

Kim Jong Un has removed key members of the old guard through a series of purges since taking over after the death of Kim Jong Il.

Jang Song Thaek: the uncle who fell out of favor

The most spectacular purge to date was the 2013 execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, for alleged treason. Mr Jang was married to Kim Jong Il’s sister and was once considered the second most powerful man in North Korea.

South Korea’s spy agency told politicians in May that Kim ordered his then-defence chief, Hyon Yong Chol, to be executed with an anti-aircraft gun for complaining about the young ruler, talking back to him and sleeping during a meeting

Kim Jong Un

The minister was reported to have been put to death on a firing range in front of a large crowd. Experts say Kim could be using fear to solidify his leadership, but those efforts could fail if he does not improve the country’s shattered economy.

The North regularly suffers from widespread food shortages and said last month it was facing its worse drought in a century.

Announce ‘The Liberation Day Tour’ – Performing in Pyongyang, North Korea


Venue: Pyongyang, NORTH KOREA
Dates: 19 & 20 August 2015


35 years on from their genesis in the then-Yugoslavian industrial town Trbovlje,

Laibach are still the most internationally acclaimed band to have come out of the former Communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe.

Founded in the death year of then-Yugoslavia’s leader Tito, and rising to fame as Yugoslavia steered towards self-destruction, Laibach have consistently opposed labels of any kind, be they “rock”, “pop”, “techno” or “industrial”. Self-styled engineers of human souls, Laibach can make you think, dance and march to the same music.


In August 2015, Laibach will become the first ever band of its kind to perform in the secretive country of North Korea, a reclusive garrison state as well-known for its military marches, mass gymnastics and hymns to the Great Leader, as for its defiant resistance to Western popular culture.

Laibach’s Liberation Day Tour will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonization and subsequent division into two enemy states which confront each other in an uneasy truce to this day.

The concerts will also be subject of a documentary film scheduled for premiere in 2016.

Laibach have just returned from a tour of sold out shows across North America, and will celebrate their 35th Anniversary with a very special show in Trbovlje on 4 July followed by a party meeting at nearby Mt. Kum and a rooftop concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb on 11 July.

The Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana are currently exhibiting a Laibach / NSK retrospective, open until August 17.

Laibach - photo: Miro Majcen

For full tour dates and the latest information, available HERE


Liberation Day Concerts directed by Morten Traavik. Layout: Valnoir. Supported by Arts Council Norway


Kim Jong-un brings back ‘pleasure troupe’ entertainers

Kim Jong-un being cheered on as he attends a photo session with the participants in the first meeting of

North Korean leader selecting attractive young women to perform for him personally. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has ordered the creation of a new “pleasure troupe” of young women to entertain him.

Mr Kim ordered the group of women that was hand-picked by authorities loyal to his father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il, to be disbanded shortly after his death in December 2011, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

He has now decided, however, to resurrect a source of entertainment that has become a tradition for North Korean leaders.

“After he came to power, Mr Kim trusted no-one and ordered thorough investigations into every official in the regime, from the highest to the lowest”, Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University and an authority on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph.

With that process now completed, as well as the conclusion of the three-year official mourning period after the death of Kim Jong-il, the new North Korean dictator is free to select a new generation of female companions, Prof. Shigemura said.

“The women who entertained his father knew many secrets and they have now been ordered to promise not to reveal any information before being sent back to their home towns”, Prof Shigemura said.

The women who were employed as entertainers were given pay-offs of $4,000 – a huge sum in impoverished North Korea – and home appliances.

Women who were employed as maids and cleaners at Kim Jong-il’s palaces received about half that amount, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

With the departure of the “old guard” of entertainers, Mr Kim, “Can have a new entertainment group who only have loyalty to him”, Prof Shigemura added.

“Pleasure troupes” were initially introduced by Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea and still revered as the nation’s Eternal President.

His officials were sent to scour the countryside for the prettiest young women, who were selected to serve as dancers or singers. Others were employed as maids, but the very prettiest were obliged to become concubines to the elite.

Kim Jong-un with his wife Ri Sol-ju in Pyongyang (AP)

Often as young as 13 or 14, the recruiters would tell their parents that their daughters were being taken away on a government mission to serve the nation’s leader.

As with everything in North Korean society, the parents had no say in the matter, even if they did have suspicions over what was really happening to their daughters.

Stationed at the leaders’ mansions, the women were available whenever they were required. Many “retired” while still in their 20s and were married off to military officers looking for brides.

“This has been going on under three generations of the Kim family ruling North Korea and it has become a tradition that is also a demonstration of the leader’s power over the people and his sexual power,” Prof. Shigemura said.

Mr Kim married Ri Sol-ju, a former singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, in 2013 and the couple has a daughter.

North Korea’s ‘Princess’ Moves Closer To Center Of Power

View image on Twitter

SEOUL (Reuters) – In her slim-fitting trouser suits and black-heeled shoes, Kim Yo Jong cuts a contrasting figure to her pudgy older brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

On Thursday, state media said the younger Kim, 27, had taken a senior position in the ruling Workers’ Party, confirming speculation she had moved closer to the center of power in the secretive state.

It named her as a vice director alongside the head of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, which handles ideological messaging through the media, arts and culture.

Kim Yo Jong’s title supports earlier reports from a North Korean defector group which said she may have taken a high-level role when Kim Jong Un recently disappeared from public view for more than a month, prompting speculation about his grip on power.

South Korea’s intelligence agency later said Kim, 31, was likely to have had surgery on his left ankle. Kim has since reappeared, walking with a limp.

Kim Yo Jong’s power has been likened to that of a prime minister, an unnamed South Korean intelligence source told the Seoul-based JoongAng Ilbo newspaper in April, even before her brother’s injury.

“All roads lead to Comrade Yo Jong,” the source said.

Kim Yo Jong has featured in state propaganda since her brother took over the nuclear-capable country upon the death of their father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011.

In 2012, as state TV showed Kim Jong Un arriving at the opening of an amusement park in Pyongyang, Kim Yo Jong ran from one position to another between ranks of applauding party cadres and generals as if she was orchestrating the event for the new North Korean dictator.

Since then, the smartly-dressed Kim, her hair usually pulled back in a ponytail, has made several appearances with her brother, giggling at state concerts, presenting awards to fighter pilots or riding a white horse.

Women in patriarchal North Korea rarely become high-ranking officials or military commanders. They do, however, receive military training.

They are also vital to North Korea’s moribund economy. With many men engaged in state-appointed jobs in factories and bureaucratic departments, it is often women who turn to black market trading to earn the income most families need to survive.

But for Kim Yo Jong, it is her family name and proximity to Kim Jong Un that supersedes any cultural norms.

“People who are nominally her superiors most likely defer to her,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership.


When Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea, his sister Kim Kyong Hui took a powerful role as a personal assistant with high-ranking military and party jobs.

She has not been seen since her husband, Jang Song Thaek, once regarded as the No.2 leader in Pyongyang, was purged and executed late last year.

Writing in his 2003 memoir about his 13 years as Kim Jong Il’s sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto said the late dictator had a trusting relationship with Ko Yong Hui, his fourth partner, with whom he had three children: Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, and their elder brother Kim Jong Chol.

“Ko said she had traveled to Disneyland in Europe and Tokyo with her kids,” Fujimoto wrote.

Not much is known about the elder Kim, who was once photographed at the Swiss boarding school all three children reportedly attended in a replica of Dennis Rodman’s NBA basketball jersey.

Even at dinner, Fujimoto said, Kim Jong Il kept his eldest son at arm’s length, preferring to place future leader Kim Jong Un and his sister, beside himself and their mother whom he called ‘madam’.

“Kim Jong Il sits in the middle, and to his left, sits his madam,” wrote Fujimoto.

“Prince Jong Un sits to the left of the madam, and the princess sits to the right of Kim Jong Il.”

Kim Jong Un reappears with cane, state media shows (Updated with photo)

Kim Jong Un reappears after 40 day absence, pictures show

Kim Jong Un appeared for the first time in 40 days using a cane, photos published by North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed on Tuesday.

Kim had been missing from public view since attending a concert in Pyongyang on September 3, with his absence sparking widespread rumors about his health and the stability of the leadership.

Rumors of a foot or ankle injury, which had grown particularly prominent in recent days, appear to be proven correct by the pictures published on Tuesday.

An article earlier published by KCNA at about 4 a.m. Korean Standard Time (KST) was first to provide details about Kim’s reappearance: a field guidance visit to a newly built residential district for scientists.

The report did not contain references to his health, though previous state media reports had mentioned his “discomfort” – or time out of public view.


“Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, gave field guidance to the newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District,” the article said.

The report said Kim was accompanied by high-ranking officials Hwang Pyong So, Choe Thae Bok, Choe Ryong Hae, Han Kwang Sang and Kim Jong Gwan. Hwang Pyong So and Choe Ryong Hae were part of a high-level delegation which conducted a surprise visit to Incheon on October 4 to attend the closing ceremony of the Asian Games.

“It (the appearance) is possibly a response to the international media attention that his public absence attracted, particularly during the last two weeks,” Michael Madden, author of the NK Leadership blog toldNK News on Tuesday.

“It’s quite interesting that his first appearance was to an apartment complex where some of the scientists involved in the long-range rocket program will soon reside,” Madden added.

Madden also commented on the presence of the cane in the images, saying that state media had previously covered Kim Jong Il’s field guidance trips when he was physically unfit.

“His father, Kim Jong Il, set the precedent both for long public absences and telecasting physical infirmity,” Madden explained.

“Kim Jong Il had numerous, lengthier absences away from DPRK public life, and during the last few years he was routinely photographed and filmed riding in an electric cart and having to sit down for long spells during his on-site visits.

A small cart can similarly be seen in the background of one of the images published in the Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday.

The KCNA report also said Kim appeared at a second location – the “newly built Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences.”


“Our scientists are patriots who are devoting all their lives to building a rich and powerful nation, convinced that though there is no frontier in science, they have a socialist motherland and are under the care of the mother party,” the KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

“There is nothing to spare for them. It is necessary to project and treat scientists preferentially and always take care of them.”

The article also said that Kim then took part in a photo session with scientists in front of statues of his father and grandfather, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung.

N.K. leader’s aunt shown again on TV

The aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was shown again on state television Sunday in a re-run of a documentary, reinforcing views that she hasn’t been removed from the country’s power elite despite the execution of her once powerful husband.

Kim Kyong-hui, the current leader’s aunt and younger sister of late former leader Kim Jong-il, has not been seen in public since her husband, Jang Song-thaek, was executed last December on charges of treason.

The last time she was seen on television was April 29, when the North’s Korean Central TV ran a documentary film about Kim Jong-un’s efforts to promote sports. In the documentary, the 68-year-old aunt was spotted close to her nephew at a football stadium.

On Sunday, the TV station broadcast the same documentary film.

Speculation about the aunt’s removal from power had emerged after the TV station replaced footage of her in a separate documentary aired on April 15. North Korea has often indicated the purge of high-ranking officials by deleting scenes in which they appear.

The aunt, a former senior secretary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, is now believed to have stepped down from her official posts due to health problems.

Earlier this month, a source familiar with affairs inside the communist state claimed that a Korean-American cardiologist arrived in Pyongyang late last month to treat the aunt who has been known to have a heart disease, prompting speculation that she may have fallen into critical condition.(Yonhap)