Showing posts with label Korea Peninsula. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korea Peninsula. Show all posts

September 28, 2014

Was the Leader Poisoned? Listen to it in Korean Music { The Poisoning of Kim Jong Kook)

poison (intoxication) - kim jong kook

The little Grandeur Dictator of SKorea has Unspecified Health Problem

The brain? That is an easy one. With his bloat belly may his kidneys or Liver..he loves American booze. Let’s hope he doesn’t suffer much and goes to meet his dad asap.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) reacting as he visits the North Korean People's Army Breeding Station No. 621Kim Jong-un has been visibly limping in recent months 
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has an unspecified medical problem, state media report, after he failed to appear at a key political event.
A report on state television said on Thursday that Mr Kim, 31, was in an "uncomfortable physical condition" but gave no details.
Earlier, the leader was absent from a session of the Supreme People's Assembly - North Korea's legislature.
Mr Kim has not been seen in public for more than three weeks.
His non-appearance at the SPA - to which he was elected in March with 100% of the vote - on Thursday prompted renewed speculation about the leader's whereabouts.
The report on state-run Central Television later in the day showed footage of the leader limping during one of his regular inspection tours back in July.
Kim made his last public appearance on 3 September, when he attended a concert given by the Moranbong Band - an all-girl musical troupe reputedly hand-picked by the leader himself.
State newspaper Rodong Sinmun showed Mr Kim sitting in comfortable front-row seats, alongside his wife Ri Sol-ju.
Previous appearances, the usual diet of factory and military unit inspections, show a clearly overweight Mr Kim walking with a limp and wearing generously cut trousers, possibly to disguise his walking difficulties.
South Korean newspaper Joongang Daily supports the leg injury theory, and suggests that his disappearance may be due to an injury picked up during some sort of sporting activity.
 It is known that Mr Kim is a lover of horse riding and is keen on watching basketball and football.
An anonymous source - said to be "familiar with North Korea affairs" - quoted by the South Korean news agency Yonhap, said he understood Mr Kim was "suffering from gout, along with hyperuricemia, hyperlipidemia, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure".
The agency said some people attribute the deterioration in Mr Kim's health to frequent drinking and overeating.
But its source said gout runs in Mr Kim's family, with his grandfather Kim II-sung, his father Kim Jong-il and his elder brother Kim Jong-nam all suffering from the disease.
Chosun Ilbo suggests that he simply might be on holiday, but notes that army politburo head Hwang Pyong-so, Mr Kim's constant shadow on inspection visits, has also disappeared from view.
It is not the first time that the North Korean leader has failed to appear in public for an extended period. In March 2012, he spent 21 days out of the public eye; in June of the same year it was 24 days; and in January 2013 it was 18 days.
Despite the lack of recent footage of Kim Jong-un, he has not entirely disappeared from televisions tuned to Central Television.
Viewers get a daily dose of archive footage of months-old inspection visits along with an enthusiastic voice-over, usually in the hour leading up to the main evening news.
BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world.  

December 14, 2013

More Purges Expected from Kim Jon Un in North Korea

dekKorean Central News Agency / Korea News Service / AP
He looks so happy. No more uncle to compete with. He lost respect for his uncles’ advise and probably it was a long time ago.
When big events happen in a country, like executing the no. 2 man something follows. Only two choices for secretive country such
as North Korea. It will either become more bellicose or it will try to improve it’s world image by doing something  not crazy, like
its always expected from such a place.
Adam Gonzalez


 (PYONGYANG) The execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Uns uncle brought a swift and violent end to a man long considered the countrys second-most powerful. But while Jang Song Thaek is now gone, the fallout from his bloody purge is not over.
In a stunning reversal of the popular image of Jang as a mentor and father figure guiding young Kim Jong Un as he consolidated power, North Korea's state-run media on Friday announced he had been executed and portrayed him as a morally corrupt traitor who saw the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011 as an opportunity to make his own power play.
  Experts who study the authoritarian country, which closely guards its internal workings from both outsiders and citizens, were divided on whether the sudden turn of events reflected turmoil within the highest levels of power or signaled that Kim Jong Un was consolidating his power in a decisive show of strength. Either way, the purge is an unsettling development for a world that is already wary of Kim's unpredictability amid North Korea's attempts to develop nuclear weapons.
"If he has to go as high as purging and then executing Jang, it tells you that everything's not normal," said Victor Cha, a former senior White House adviser on Asia.
The first appearance of the new narrative came out just days ago, when North Korea accused Jang, 67, of corruption, womanizing, gambling and taking drugs. It said he had been eliminated from all his posts.
Friday's allegations heaped on claims that he tried "to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state." "He dared not raise his head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were alive," it said, referring to the country's first leader and his son.
But after Kim Jong Il's death, it claimed, Jang saw his chance to challenge Kim Jong Un and realise his "long-cherished goal, greed for power."
The purge also could spread and bring down more people, Cha said. "When you take out Jang, you're not taking out just one person - you're taking out scores if not hundreds of other people in the system. It's got to have some ripple effect." South Korean intelligence officials say two of Jang's closest aides have already been executed last month.
Narushige Michishita, a security expert at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, suggested that Jang's removal shows "that Kim Jong Un has the guts to hold onto power, and this might have shown his will to power, his willingness to get rid of anything that stands in his way."
One of the biggest opportunities for the world to see what may happen next will come on Dec 17, which is the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death. North Korea watchers will be closely following whether Jang's wife, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il, and other figures are present in the official ceremonies marking the day.
News of Jang Song Thaek's execution was trumpeted across the nation by North Korea's state media - with unusually vitriolic outbursts on TV, radio and in the main newspaper - as a triumph of Kim Jong Un and the ruling party over a traitor "worse than a dog" who was bent on overthrowing the government.
Pyongyang residents crowded around newspapers posted at the capital's main subway station to read the story. State media said Jang was tried for treason by a special military tribunal and executed on Thursday.
"He's like an enemy who dares to be crazy enough to take over power from our party and our leader," said Pak Chang Gil, echoing the media's official line. "He got what he deserved." That's a long way from the popular perception that "Uncle Jang" was nurturing his nephew as a regent appointed by Kim Jong Il. Jang was seen prominently by Kim Jong Un's side as he walked by his father's hearse during his 2011 funeral. He was also a fixture at the new leader's side as he toured the country.
The KCNA report was unusually specific in its accusations. In particular, it criticised Jang for not rising and applauding his nephew's appointment to a senior position because Jang "thought that if Kim Jong Un's base and system for leading the army were consolidated, this would lay a stumbling block in the way of grabbing the power." It stressed repeatedly that Jang had tried to assemble a faction of his own, suggesting the purging process could still be playing out.
Jang's death could herald a "reign of terror," including more purges, said Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea expert at South Korea's Kyungnam University.
Another question mark is how the purge will impact North Korea's relationship with its only major ally, China. Jang had been seen as the leading supporter of Chinese-style economic reforms and an important link between Pyongyang and Beijing. China has called Jang's execution a domestic issue and has avoided further public comment.
North Korea has recently turned to attempts at diplomacy with South Korea and the United States. But tensions have remained high since Pyongyang's threats in March and April, which included warnings that it would restart nuclear bomb fuel production.
Another resident in Pyongyang, Ri Chol Ho, said he did not believe Jang alone was deserving of the harshest punishment.
"For this group of traitors who were going to destroy our single-hearted unity, execution is too lenient," he said. “They should be torn up and thrown into the rubbish bin of history."

December 13, 2013

Unkie in North Korea Faced the Firing Squad

A South Korean man watches TV news about the alleged dismissal of Jang Song-Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's uncle, at a railway station in Seoul on December 3, 2013
Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

When an uncle becomes more than an uncle, it’s got to go.  This unckie had a lot of say on the past North Korea’s actions.  He got executed according to the untruthful North Korea Media, because he was a womanizer, a drunk gambler and thus deserter in their revolution. Actually all the Dictators of North korea have beeb just that, womanizer, rapist of  any woman or man they want. There are only a few reasons why the no.2 man of this country would be killed along with all his body guards and close friends. 
One is that he was too powerful and baby face thought he had too much. May be he remembered how many times unkie had slopped’m in the back of the head when he was growing up. Actually I make light of this situation because you can’t get sad or hopeful with this guy’s death.  A killer just as bad as his nephew.
May be the nephew wants to be his own man which in case one most wonder doesn’t he have the power to be his own man already?  Obviously not, the kid is felling insecure. In a decade or so Im  sure he will get to know whether this action was smart or it was just igniting of a match where there was none burning. 
Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

The following post is from  on
North Korea state media announced Thursday that Kim Jong Un's uncle—a man who was once considered to be the second most powerful official in the Hermit Kingdon—has been executed for attempting to overthrow the government.
The news came as something of a surprise given Jang Song Thaek's previous role within the government, where he was believed to have helped Kim Jong Un consolidate power after the death of his father two years ago. Still, there had been rumblings of palace trouble, with recent reports suggesting that Jang Song Thaek had already been ousted from his position within Kim Jong Un's inner circle.
The official announcement came via the official North Korean English-language news site, KCNA, which—in its typically superlative-heavy and bombastic fashion—branded Jang Song Thaek everything from a "traitor for all ages" to "despicable human scum" to "worse than a dog." Here's a snippet from the KCNA report:
The accused is a traitor to the nation for all ages who perpetrated anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts in a bid to overthrow the leadership of our party and state and the socialist system. ...
He held higher posts than before and received deeper trust from supreme leader Kim Jong Un, in particular. The political trust and benevolence shown by the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu were something he hardly deserved. It is an elementary obligation of a human being to repay trust with sense of obligation and benevolence with loyalty.
However, despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him. From long ago, Jang had a dirty political ambition. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were alive. But, reading their faces, Jang had an axe to grind and involved himself in double-dealing. He began revealing his true colors, thinking that it was just the time for him to realize his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced.

According to the Associated Press, Jang Song Thaek’s ouster and unconfirmed execution has some analysts fearing that the purge could create dangerous instability within Kim Jong Un’s already unpredictable government.


September 22, 2013

North Korea’s Round Dough Boy HAs a Problem Bigger Than His Bomb } Crystal Meth

Special report: Ian Birrell (left) stands next to a North Korean soldier (right) in Pyongyang
Special report: Ian Birrell (left) stands with a North Korean soldier (right) in Pyongyang
A small army of women, identical in long yellow dresses and clutching golden fans, enter the vast stadium to the adulation of thousands of awed spectators.
They bow in military unison, turn and kneel to a staggering trompe l’oeil: a burning sun emerging in triumphant blaze over snow-clad mountains.
The glorious North Korean dawn plays out across what appears at first to be a colossal screen the entire length of the stadium.
In fact, it is 20,000 well-drilled children turning pages of books with brightly-coloured paper in perfect synchronicity.
The mass games of Pyongyang, capital city of the most closed and repressive state in the world, are twisted propaganda.
Last weekend, I became one of the few Westerners to have witnessed epic scenes that would have made Goebbels weep with pride.
For 90 minutes, a bizarre blend of acrobatics, dancing, martial arts and music unfolds in a frenzy of precision choreography involving 100,000 performers.
Thousands of young women in short-skirted army uniforms dance nimbly with swords held aloft. Then long lines of black-belted men throw judo moves before joining forces to hoist up a huge national flag.
Minutes later, massed ranks of small children spin in somersaults to the crowd’s delight. Giant pigs give birth to dancing piglets while chickens twirl with eggs. Human cannonballs high above our heads fly across the entire stadium – the first through a blazing hoop.
Anthems are sung with evangelical zeal: one supposedly written by the last leader. 
They praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists.
 And, from start to finish, this show promotes the fascistic ideology of  a pure people surrounded by evil  enemies, demanding unflinching  obedience to their rulers.
Tyrant: Current leader Kim Jong Un surrounded by generals on a recent trip to inspect border defences at the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment in North Korea
It is undeniably spectacular – but  as a tribute to a successful modern nation, it’s a monstrous fraud.
North Korea has been imprisoned in a dark past by three generations of a despotic gangster family.
 Investigators catalogued horror stories in last week’s report – such as children condemned to a life in prison for the alleged misdeeds of their parents – and compared the regime’s vile crimes to those carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the Nazis.
There is no mention of death camps holding an estimated 200,000 slave labourers, of families tortured for watching foreign soap operas, of mothers forced to drown their own babies – atrocities all documented in a disturbing United Nations investigation.
But now another extraordinary revelation is emerging slowly from defectors: that North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine – or crystal meth, the addictive drug cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the dark US drama Breaking Bad.
'Catastrophic': North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine - or 'crystal meth' (above) - similar to those cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the US drama Breaking Bad 
'Catastrophic': North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine - or 'crystal meth' (above) - similar to those cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the US drama Breaking Bad 

A new study reveals vast quantities are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currency.
Inevitably, it has ended up creating a catastrophic epidemic back home. In some parts of the country up to 50 per cent of the population are reported to be hooked.
The study discloses drug abuse has reached ‘remarkable proportions and keeps growing, engulfing new social groups and regions’.
The inquiry, by two South Korea-based academics, is based on interviews with 21 recent defectors. It confirms earlier evidence from the US and China, where there are soaring levels of crystal meth addiction in border regions with North Korea.
In parts of the country, 50 per cent of people are now hooked
Perhaps most remarkably, the trade began as a state-sponsored exercise.
The nation, hit hard by the collapse of the Soviet Union which supported it with aid, began making methamphetamine in large laboratories in its poorer northern regions for export. 
These were scaled down about eight years ago as the drug began flooding back into the country.
But instead of slowing down production, this sparked explosive growth in crystal meth manufacture. 
Jobless scientists and technicians created their own ‘kitchen labs’, teaming up with smuggling gangs that blossomed during a deadly famine in the Nineties.
‘They were rather old people and their lives were tough,’ one defector told the report’s authors. ‘Private entrepreneurs began to look for such people and employ them.’
Users include soldiers in the world’s most militarised state, women taking it for weight control and sick people unable to access medicines in a country with such chronic healthcare  that doctors use old beer bottles for hospital drips.
‘People in North Korea do not realise what the side effects will be,’ said  Professor Kim Seok-Hyang, who co-authored the report. ‘They think it is a good thing to relieve their pain. A cure-all medicine.’
 'One mother I interviewed gave it to her 11-year-old daughter so she could study for her exams to go to an elite middle school,’ said Prof Seok-Hyang.
Parents even offer it to children to help them concentrate – with no inkling of the consequences. 
The word ‘munlan’ has appeared to describe those who have seen their lives wrecked and health suffer because of the drug. 
Meanwhile, experts estimate up to 40 per cent of North Korea’s foreign earnings now come from illegal activities.
No visitor, of course, can probe at first-hand this sordid underbelly of North Korea. Journalists are barred from the country under threat of jail. So I posed as one of the few Western tourists visiting the country – who must all accept constant supervision.
I entered by train from Dandong, one of the key Chinese towns used by smuggling gangs.
As dusk fell over the riverside frontier, a dishevelled man dancing manically outside a shop playing piped music was pointed out as a probable crystal meth abuser.
The difference between the two countries is striking. On one side of the river, a rapidly growing forest of skyscrapers and bustling Chinese commerce; on the other, military watchtowers, rusting boats and two rather tragic theme-park rides. Symbolically, the lights on the bridge linking the two nations end midway over the river.
Our train stopped for two hours as border guards searched bags. They checked my iPhone and flicked through my books. Fortunately,  I had been warned to scratch the GPS sign off my camera or it would have been confiscated.
 The journey offered a rare chance to mingle freely with North Koreans – a group of whom invited me to share their lunch of fresh crab, fiery cabbage and tasteless tripe, washed down with potent rice wine.
They could name only one living Briton: David Beckham. The film Bend It Like Beckham is among four Western films permitted on the propaganda-drenched TV station, alongside The Sound of Music, Home Alone and Titanic.
A middle-aged man said he had never met a Westerner before. He refused to let me take his picture, then relented because he wanted a snapshot of me. ‘Don’t let the soldiers see it,’ he warned.
Arriving at Pyongyang, two ‘guides’ attached themselves and remained at my side until they put me on a plane four days later. The pair even stayed at my huge slab of a hotel, stuck on a well-guarded island in the Taedong river, and followed me to the lavatory on excursions.
Mass production: A new study reveals vast quantities of crystal meth are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currency
Mass production: A new study reveals vast quantities of crystal meth are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currency
My minders were friendly yet stuck rigidly to their party line. ‘May I leave the island on my own,’ I asked? ‘That is not advisable,’ came the reply. ‘People are not used to foreigners. You will stand out. It is for your own safety.’
These are the well-educated children of the elite, permitted to live in the pampered capital unlike most citizens, and trusted to mix with outsiders.
Yet their lack of awareness of life outside their hermetic world made for surreal conversations. 
One played electric guitar but had never heard of The Beatles, hip-hop or even South Korean superstar Psy. I tried to explain the Gangnam Style video, but floundered since he could not grasp the concept of YouTube.
Their explanations about the nation’s detachment from the 21st century sounded absurd.
When I asked why there were no cars on the Pyongyang streets last Sunday, I was told public-spirited families dislike causing unnecessary pollution. 
In fact, less than one per cent of the 24 million population have cars  – and laws restrict Sunday driving due to fuel shortages. 
Permission is needed to drive after 6.30pm on other days. Infrastructure is decrepit, with bumpy roads and shabby blocks of flats. 
A visit to one celebrated sight was cancelled because a bridge had collapsed. Tourists are shuffled around special shops, bars and restaurants. 
Needless to say, I was told there were almost no drugs in North Korea – and that if anyone did use them, they would be ‘corrected’ by their family or workplace committee. 
Trying to explain gay marriage also proved a forlorn task. ‘I would kill my children if they did that,’ responded one astonished man.
Huge meals are served, as if to banish suggestions of shortages. One included an entire chicken and rice cooked in ginseng, followed by soup, squid, fish, duck, noodles, seaweed, stewed bracken, potato croquettes, pickled cabbage, fried egg and more rice. It was all just for me.
But recent reports reveal more than a quarter of North Korean children under five are stunted by extreme malnutrition, while rural poverty remains endemic.
I get masses of food - while a quarter of the nation's youngare starving
The propaganda is remorseless. Everyone wears a red badge with a picture of either a grinning ‘Great Leader’ – Kim Il-sung who founded the personality cult around which this repressed nation revolves – or his simpering son Kim Jong-il, the ‘Dear Leader’ who died in 2011. Some display both images on their breast.
The portraits adorn homes, public buildings, roads, the underground. There are none of Kim Jong-un, the Swiss-educated, 30-year-old latest supreme leader.
He is loosening the economy a little but is also reported to have had an ex-girlfriend machine-gunned to death last month in front of her family.
I pointed out one tower block with a huge red flower painted instead on its roof, only to be told it was a ‘Kimjongilia’ – a type of begonia named after the late leader that I then started seeing everywhere.
No expense has been spared ramming home the paranoid ideology of the regime and the legacy of its dead leaders. There are 65ft-high bronze statues, monuments to their contorted creed, museums glorifying their deeds and a massive mausoleum displaying their embalmed bodies.
When I visited this tomb, the size of a small airport, I was joined by  40 busloads of officials from the state communications department allowed a rare day in the capital. Travel is heavily restricted, with permits needed to move around and frequent roadblocks.
We were stripped of all belongings and rode travelators – along marble-clad corridors lined with endless photographs of the two leaders – for at least ten minutes while sombre music droned from speakers.
Action: People in North Korea praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists. Above, Kim Jong-Un presents a memorial automatic rifle while visiting Unit 1973 headquarters at an undisclosed location
 Action: People in North Korea praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists. Above, Kim Jong-un presents a memorial automatic rifle while visiting Unit 1973 headquarters at an undisclosed location

Finally, we went through wind tunnels to blow away any specs of dust, then into a darkened room where we lined up in rows of four to bow to the first body under the eye of armed soldiers and security officials. 
Women in traditional costume cried as they moved around the glass cases, bowing three more times; it was impossible to tell if the tears were genuine. I could not help but notice the shoddy application of hair dye on Kim Il-sung’s corpse.
After viewing his car and train, we repeated the performance for the second deceased leader. Each also had a room displaying medals presented by foreign governments and official bodies – depressingly, I noticed one awarded by Derbyshire County Council.
That evening, I joined the same besuited officials bused in to a special performance of the state  circus. Unfortunately, the daring of amazing acrobats was diminished by the debasement of skating bears and baboons.
Propaganda bombarded me even on the flight back to Beijing. Screens showed a gig by the nation’s answer to the Spice Girls, handpicked last year by the new leader and whose hits include Drink To Victory, Fluttering Red Flag and Let’s Meet At The Frontline.
It was a relief to land back in the modern world after my brief glimpse behind the rusting Iron Curtain of North Korea. 
For those millions condemned to be left behind, one can only hope the sun will soon set on this most bloodstained, most dangerous and most revolting regime.
Daily Mail

September 8, 2013

South Korean Film Director Marries His Partner in a Gay ceremony

South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo kisses his partner Kim Seung-hwan during their wedding ceremony in central Seoul (LEE JAE-WON, REUTERS)
  • Reuters
SEOUL (Reuters) - Gay South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo symbolically married his long-term partner on Saturday, with the couple exchanging vows on a bridge, though same-sex marriage remains illegal in the conservative Asian country.

Dressed in white, Kim and his partner of nine years, Kim Seung-hwan, staged an ceremony on a stage overlooking a stream, with a choir and various artists performing a musical tribute.

Both men made clear they were trailblazing in a society where traditional values keep many homosexuals from coming out, let alone pressing for legal approval for same-sex unions.

"Now people cannot but call us as a married couple as we have had a wedding," Kim, 49, told a news conference, holding his partner's hand tightly before the ceremony got under way.

"It is important whether or not we become a legally bound couple. But more importantly, we want to let people know that gays can marry too in our society."

Hundreds attended the two-hour ceremony, dubbed "Kim Jho Gwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan's Righteous Wedding," which featured the partners reading their vows and singing a song to illustrate their love story.

Proceedings were disrupted briefly when an unidentified man rushed onto the stage and tossed food onto members of the choir.

Yonhap news agency later identified the man as an elder in a Christian church. He was detained by police.

Kim announcement in May that he was holding the event made him the first South Korean show business personality to do so and only the second to ever come out. The other, an actor, now says he regrets his decision.

Although homosexuality is not illegal, the pressure to marry someone of the opposite sex to continue the family blood line is strong and leads many to hide their sexual identity. Gays and lesbians have been subject to hate crimes, with one gay man sprayed with hydrochloric acid in 2008 by an acquaintance.

New Zealand last month became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize gay marriage, with many Australians now travelling there to tie the knot.

Thailand, one of the most liberal countries in the region, does not recognize same-sex marriages, but a civil partnership law giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the same rights as heterosexuals is being prepared.

Kim said he would nonetheless formally apply to get his marriage legally registered after the ceremony. Some South Korean lawmakers have backed an anti-discrimination law that would embrace gay rights, but amendments have foundered due to conservative Christian legislators who oppose recognition.

Christians make up about a third of the population, with parishioners split into a wide variety of denominations.

Kim has directed a handful of films well received by domestic audiences and came out in 2005 during a screening. He co-founded a production company "Rainbow Factory" with his partner that specializes in LGBT-themed movies.

The couple said they would use the traditional wedding money gifts they received to launch a centre for LGBT issues.


August 30, 2013

Mr.Charming Kim of N.Korea Had Girlfriend Executed

North Korea's Kim reportedly has ex-girlfriend, 11 others executed

A North Korean firing squad last week executed a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong Un and 11 other entertainers for allegedly violating laws banning pornography, a South Korean newspaper reported Thursday.
The report by Chosun Ilbo, an English-language newspaper of a Seoul media conglomerate, deemed the reported Aug. 20 executions a death blow to expectations that Kim would oversee a transition of his isolated and tyrannized people into a more open era.
Among the dozen performers shot to death while their families and former band members were forced to watch was Hyon Song Wol, a singer Kim reportedly courted a decade ago but was forced to abandon by his dictatorial father, Kim Jong Il.
Hyon was pictured by North Korean state television performing at a  concert Aug. 8 in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, less than two weeks before her execution, Chosun Ilbo reported, posting a picture of the singer juxtaposed against one of Kim applauding at the concert.
The 12 members of the Unhasu Orchestra and the Wangjaesan Light Music Band were accused of violating anti-pornography laws by videotaping themselves having sex and selling copies of the tape to North Korean fans and in China.
The South Korean newspaper, which attributed reports of the executions to sources in China, said one also claimed that some of those arrested in the Aug. 17 crackdown were found to have Bibles in their possession. Like most communist countries, North Korea denounces religion as an undesirable foreign influence.
Hyon married a North Korean military officer after Kim's father forced their breakup, but reportedly continued to see the Pyongyang heir apparent even after her marriage, Chosun Ilbo said.
Kim, 30, is believed to have married Hyon's fellow band member, Ri Sol Ju, in the last year or so. Ri began showing up with Kim at cultural events in the capital a little more than a year ago, including at a female band concert in July 2012 that featured Western music, mini-skirted violinists and a parade of knock-off Disney characters. The gala raised speculation that Kim would relax longstanding constraints on artistic expression and social behavior imposed by his father and grandfather since North Korea's emergence as a separate state after World War II.
The performance that dispensed with the usual dour dress and state-mandated repertoire gave rise to "hopes that the young leader is more open to ideas from overseas, but that was apparently  misreading," Chosun Ilbo concluded.

"Kim Jong Un has been viciously eliminating anyone who he deems a challenge to his authority," the newspaper said, quoting an unnamed source. The executions "show that he is fixated on consolidating his leadership."
Kim and his military and political hierarchies provoked new strain in relations with South Korea and the West this year by conducting a prohibited nuclear bomb test and proclaiming as invalid the 1953 armistice that halted fighting in the Korean War. The two sides never signed a peace treaty to formally end the conflict.
By Carol J. Williams



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