from Ian Bremmer:

The hope and beauty of a North Korean stalemate

By Ian Bremmer
March 30, 2012

President Obama’s recent trip to South Korea may have gained attention for his “open mic” slipup with outgoing Russian President Medvedev over missile defense, but that’s just a media distraction from the importance of Obama’s visit to the Korean peninsula. After Kim Jong Il’s death in December, the U.S. took an early lead in negotiations with North Korea doing so because Obama and his team thought it could be an easy diplomatic win. With the promise of aid and food, the U.S. could let new leader Kim Jong-un quietly drop the consistently belligerent stance the country has taken in what passes for its foreign policy.

from Photographers' Blog:

Death of god

January 3, 2012

By Kim Kyung-Hoon

Nobody knows when and where death will visit us.

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il shows that this phrase applies to everyone. Death is inevitable, even for an absolute ruler who was believed to be an eternal creature in his reclusive kingdom and who provoked the international community with a nuclear weapons program and brinkmanship.

from Breakingviews:

Dear Leader’s death may prize open hermit state

December 19, 2011

By John Foley (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

from Photographers' Blog:

Inside North Korea: No one said anything

October 15, 2010

A ground staff of North Korean airliner Air Koryo thrusts a hand in front of her face at the airport in North Korean capital of Pyongyang October 12, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

Questions immediately filled my mind when I learned I would be part of a Reuters team heading to North Korea to cover a ceremony, where it was rumored Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent would make his debut.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 3 October, 2010

October 4, 2010

At the beginning of the week I had my doubts that we would actually see pictures from two major events taking place in Asia; North Korea's ruling Workers' Party conference, the biggest held for 30 years intended to push ahead the succession process for Kim Jong-il's son Kim Jong-Un and the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. As it turned out, the pictures from both fronted publications around the world.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures September 26, 2010

September 28, 2010

A tough week for India as athletes began arriving  for the start of the Commonwealth Games. On September 21, a pedestrian walkway outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi collapsed; the very next day a portion of the ceiling in the weightlifting arena also collapsed. Social and mainstream media showed pictures of blocked drains, dirty bathrooms, soiled matresses and unfinished work in the athletes' accommodation.  Team members started to pull out of the games, undermining the status of the event. The enormity of the clean-up task seemed insurmountable, this concern beautifully illustrated by Parivartan Sharma's picture of a man sweeping dust in the streets with a hand brush - a seemingly pointless task when CWG president Fennell said that there was still "considerable work to be done". Have a close look at Reinhard Krause's picture of the roof of the weight lifting arena and make your own judgement on the workmanship of the construction.  As someone who has not got a great head for heights I fear for the safety of the workers walking on the roof of the building.

from Photographers' Blog:

Asia – A Week in Pictures September 26, 2010

September 28, 2010

[CROSSPOST blog: 557 post: 736]

Original Post Text:
A tough week for India as athletes began arriving  for the start of the Commonwealth Games. On September 21, a pedestrian walkway outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi collapsed; the very next day a portion of the ceiling in the weightlifting arena also collapsed. Social and mainstream media showed pictures of blocked drains, dirty bathrooms, soiled matresses and unfinished work in the athletes' accommodation.  Team members started to pull out of the games, undermining the status of the event. The enormity of the clean-up task seemed insurmountable, this concern beautifully illustrated by Parivartan Sharma's picture of a man sweeping dust in the streets with a hand brush - a seemingly pointless task when CWG president Fennell said that there was still "considerable work to be done". Have a close look at Reinhard Krause's picture of the roof of the weight lifting arena and make your own judgement on the workmanship of the construction.  As someone who has not got a great head for heights I fear for the safety of the workers walking on the roof of the building.

from Global News Journal:

The incredible shrinking Kim Jong-il

May 12, 2010

KOREA NORTH/KIMNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-il emerged from his reclusive life last week for a rare visit to China looking every bit the part of a man nearing 70 recovering from serious illness. Kim, who was widely suspected of suffering a stroke about two years ago, walked with a slight limp, had a thinning head of hair and shed the trademark paunch that once pressed snugly against his jumpsuits. The most telling pictures of his change can be seen in the posed shots he took with Chinese President Hu Jintao, born just 10 months after Kim in 1942, and looking much younger  today.  Pictures taken in October 2005 when Hu visited Pyongyang and from earlier this month when Kim was in Beijing show how much the North Korean leader has changed.

from Global News Journal:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il says bye-bye bouffant. Hello China?

March 15, 2010

NORTH KOREANorth Korean leader Kim Jong-il appears to have abandoned his trademark bouffant, relegating one of the world’s most noticeable hair styles to the scrap heap of history.

from Global News Journal:

Interview with North Korea border crosser Robert Park

December 30, 2009

KOREA-NORTH/CROSSING

 (Photographs by Lee Jae-won)

North Korea said on Tuesday it had  detained a U.S. citizen who entered its territory, apparently confirming a report that an American activist crossed into the
state to raise awareness about Pyongyang's human rights abuses.   Robert Park, 28, walked over the frozen Tumen river from
China and into the North last Friday, other activists said. The Korean-American told Reuters ahead of the crossing that it was his duty as a
Christian to make the journey and that he was carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to step down.