North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies
By Kim Tae Hong [2011-12-19 12:36 ]
Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on the morning of the 19th that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il died on his private train due to overwork on the 17th at 8:30 a.m.
In a short dispatch, KCA stated, "Chariman Kim passed away in the train on December 17th, 2011 at 8:30am due to physical overwork."
U.S Resumes Aid as North Suspends UEP [2011-12-19 11:02 ]
Associated Press (AP) reported today that the U.S. will announce a food aid program towards North Korea on the 19th and North Korea will soon announce the suspension of its Uranium Enrichment Program (UEP).
The AP, citing a source familiar with U.S. negotiations with North Korea, said that North Korea will suspend ballistic missile tests, permit the return of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection teams, and agree to resume North-South dialogue.
This was the outcome of diplomatic negotiations behind the scenes between North Korea and the U.S. in New York, Geneva and Beijing beginning this past summer. It has been three years since U.S. last sent food aid to North Korea.
The U.S., whilst announcing the resumption of food aid, will also present bilateral agreements pertaining to improvements in monitoring methods. North Korea withdrew its demand for rice-based aid and accepted the monitoring requirements of the U.S. As a result, the U.S. will provide a total of 240,000 tons of high protein biscuits and 20,000 tons of vitamins every month.
The U.S. and North Korea will conduct a 3rd round of talks in Beijing on the 22nd and the Associated Press predicts that this could lead to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
AP: US aid a step toward Korea nuke talks
LINK: Video of N Korean Announcement
South Korea Declares 'Emergency Alert' [2011-12-19 13:15 ] (note the timing)
AP: Kim Jong Il's nukes, threats stoked world fears
Kim rarely traveled abroad and then only by train because of an alleged fear of flying, once heading all the way by luxury rail car to Moscow, indulging in his taste for fine food along the way. One account of Kim's lavish lifestyle came from Konstantin Pulikovsky, a former Russian presidential envoy who wrote the book "The Orient Express" about Kim's train trip through Russia in July and August 2001.
Pulikovsky, who accompanied the North Korean leader, said Kim's 16-car private train was stocked with crates of French wine. Live lobsters were delivered in advance to stations. A Japanese cook later claimed he was Kim's personal sushi chef for a decade, writing that Kim had a wine cellar stocked with 10,000 bottles, and that, in addition to sushi, Kim ate shark's fin soup — a rare delicacy — weekly.
"His banquets often started at midnight and lasted until morning. The longest lasted for four days," the chef, who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, was quoted as saying. Kim is believed to have curbed his indulgent ways in recent years and looked slimmer in more recent video footage aired by North Korea's state-run broadcaster.