Next up on Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic checklist: Vladimir Putin.
The summit itself comes as no surprise. After all, Russia has long been a traditional, if largely absentee, ally of North; a Kim-Putin meeting was long overdue.
It’s the timing that is significant. Kim, in a visit heavy on symbolic ties of friendship, will be seeking to shore up Russian support in the face of tough nuclear negotiations with the United States. Kim has acknowledged to his people that relations with the United States remain tenuous, and will be looking to reassure his people that their traditional relationships remain intact. Read More
This week’s summit in North Korea between Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in was packed with milestones and camera-ready moments, as the two leaders made another show of Korean unity in their third meeting this year. Read More
There’s no denying it: This was a historic handshake. It’s the first time the leaders of North Korea and the United States — two countries that remain locked in a state of war — have held a summit.
To see President Trump and Kim Jong Un shaking hands warmly and chatting so easily was both stunning and chilling. It’s a powerful moment that augers a change in the tense relationship between these two countries. But it also legitimizes the path Kim took to get here: Building and testing illicit nuclear weapons that have the potential to wreak unimaginable destruction. Read More
Simply by landing in Singapore in a 747, Kim Jong Un is doing something his late father, Kim Jong Il, never did: fly to a foreign country. And now we are seeing him interact with foreign leaders in real time, away from the bubble and protection of North Korea’s tightly controlled state media. It’s a remarkable moment for a country long called the Hermit Kingdom, and part of a carefully crafted strategy designed to make sure he continues to capture and captivate international media attention. Read More
North Korea’s participation in these Olympics runs the risk of rewarding bad behavior and handing Mr. Kim a diplomatic victory that he will brandish as proof that his strategy was right. Still, we have to start somewhere after so many years of tension. Read More
If President Trump thinks that his threats last week of “fire and fury” and weapons “locked and loaded” have North Koreans quaking in their boots, he should think again. If anything, the Mao-suit-clad cadres in Pyongyang are probably gleeful that the president of the United States has played straight into their propaganda. Read More
After the 14th-century Korean ruler Taejo, founder of the Joseon dynasty, chose the youngest of his eight sons to succeed him, a spurned son killed the heir apparent and at least one of his other half brothers and eventually rose to the throne. Today, rumors of royal fratricide are again swirling, this time around the court of Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea. Read More
For months, North Koreans toiled day and night, renovating the Central Zoo, planting rows of apple trees and churning out coal in the deep, dark mines in the west. Factory workers hustled to produce everything from shoes and makeup to soft drinks and batteries so they could celebrate with the claim that they had surpassed yearly quotas. Read More
A triumphant North Korea staged a mass rally of soldiers and civilians Friday to glorify the country's young ruler, who took a big gamble this week in sending a satellite into orbit in defiance of international warnings.
Wednesday's rocket launch came just eight months after a similar attempt ended in an embarrassing public failure, and just under a year after Kim Jong Un inherited power following his father's death.
The surprising success of the launch may have earned Kim global condemnation, but at home the gamble paid off, at least in the short term. To his people, it made the 20-something Kim appear powerful, capable and determined in the face of foreign adversaries. Read More