FreePressers Staff

Missile fizzle: Fitting symbol of a bizarre failure in top-down government

Missile fizzle: Fitting symbol of a bizarre failure in top-down government

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In the bizarre ritual of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a recent rocket launch was intended to put the icing on the dynastic cake of the centennial birthday celebrations of the late dictator Kim Il-Sung. The world press had been invited to the reclusive neo-Stalinist state, and […]

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Going, going, gone, but the party for 'eternal President' Kim Il-Sung goes on

Going, going, gone, but the party for 'eternal President' Kim Il-Sung goes on

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The failure of North Korea’s Unha 3 missile leaves one great mystery to which there may never be a definitive answer. The question is whether or not it was carrying a weather satellite that the North Koreans had been saying for weeks would go into orbit in the interests […]

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'Precious' satellites, long-range missiles and food aid all in time for Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday extravaganza

'Precious' satellites, long-range missiles and food aid all in time for Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday extravaganza

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea’s claim of a serious scientific reason for planning to fire off a long-range missile next month with a satellite for a payload is couched in such sincere-sounding lingo that one has to wonder if the North’s scientists and engineers actually may have something in mind there. Kwangmyogsong-3, […]

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From Stalin to Putin: Moscow maintains uneasy balance of power in Northeast Asia

From Stalin to Putin: Moscow maintains uneasy balance of power in Northeast Asia

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The resurgence of Vladimir Putin as president of Russia ushers in a new era of power politics and diplomacy in Northeast Asia with implications that may not be good news for either the United States or China. Campaigning against strong opposition from the educated, intellectual, often critical elite of […]

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Tale of two brothers: Speaking out costly for older? Silence is golden for the kid

Tale of two brothers: Speaking out costly for older? Silence is golden for the kid

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The youngest son keeps his mouth shut, and the oldest one talks too much. Clearly, the silent one knows what’s best for him as he plays the title role bequeathed to him by his late father, North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il. Kim Jong-Un is showing off his image […]

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Traumatized by N. Korean ordeal, U.S. activist pleads for ‘international community to protect millions of victims’

Traumatized by N. Korean ordeal, U.S. activist pleads for ‘international community to protect millions of victims’

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com WASHINGTON — Robert Park cried out in torment as he spoke on the phone from Seoul about what he had endured — not at the hands of the North Koreans who held him for 43 days after he crossed the frozen Tumen River into North Korea on Christmas Day, 2009, but […]

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Prodigal son pushes the envelope, riles Pyongyang

Prodigal son pushes the envelope, riles Pyongyang

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com WASHINGTON — The big brother of North Korea’s fledgling “supreme leader” Kim Jong-Un is in hiding, on the run and fearful of losing his life as a result of his persistently critical view of what’s happening in his native land. That’s the assessment of South Korean intelligence analysts after quotations attributed […]

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Birthday documentary attempts to fill in the military blanks on Kim Jong-Un's resume

Birthday documentary attempts to fill in the military blanks on Kim Jong-Un's resume

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korea marked the first birthday of Kim Jong-Un since becoming the country’s top ruler with a documentary that highlights the young leader’s military prowess, despite the fact that he has no military background. Government officials and analysts in Seoul consider the airing of the cult-like documentary on state television as […]

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Kim Jong-Un's rush of new titles seen betraying vulnerability to challenges

Kim Jong-Un's rush of new titles seen betraying vulnerability to challenges

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com Kim Jong-Un’s faster-than-anticipated rise to North Korea’s top leadership suggests that he is vulnerable to possible domestic challenges following the death last month of his father, Kim Jong-Il, who handpicked the son as his successor, officials and analysts in Seoul say. The junior Kim, who is believed to be 27 or […]

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Fear reigns anew in N. Korea as 'Supreme Commander' begins to throw his weight around

Fear reigns anew in N. Korea as 'Supreme Commander' begins to throw his weight around

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The rise of the son as “supreme commander” of North Korea’s armed forces gives rise to nostalgia. Already the reign of the father is beginning to seem like the good old days. At least as long as Kim Jong-Il was around a certain sense of security prevailed. South Koreans could be […]