My former roommate went to school (probably - she's 98% sure it was him, and 2% convinced it was someone posing as him) with Kim Jong Un while she was at the Berne School in Switzerland (Her dad works for the State Department.) ... I hope - for the sake of the people of North Korea - that his exposure to the outside world means he's going to be a kinder ruler than his father, and that he'll try to slowly bring the country out of the state it's in. But that and a dollar will get me two donuts, so I don't count on it
Last month, North Korea was accused of actively jamming global positioning system (GPS) signals, targeting South Korea’s two largest airports outside its capital city of Seoul. The jamming signals, which were first detected on April 28 and ended on May 6, were traced to the North Korean border city of Kaesong, just 10 km north of the DMZ. Suspicions fell on imported truck-based jamming systems from Russia, capable of jamming signals within 100 kilometres. Was it really North Korea who stood behind the GPS jamming incidents and, if so, what was the purpose?
"Impoverished North Korea is gearing up to experiment with agricultural and economic reforms after young leader Kim Jong-un and his powerful uncle purged the country's top general for opposing change, a source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.
The source added that the cabinet had created a special bureau to take control of the decaying economy from the military, one of the world's largest, which under Kim's father was given pride of place in running the country.
The downfall of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho and his allies gives the untested new leader and his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who married into the Kim family dynasty and is widely seen as the real power behind the throne, the mandate to try to save the battered economy and prevent the secretive regime's collapse.
The source has correctly predicted events in the past, including North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006 days before it was conducted, as well as the ascension of Jang.
The changes could herald the most significant reforms by the North in decades. Previous attempts at a more market driven economy have floundered, most recently a drastic currency revaluation in late 2009 which triggered outrage and is widely believed to have resulted in the execution of its chief proponent.
"Ri Yong-ho was the most ardent supporter of Kim Jong-il's 'military first' policy," the source told Reuters, referring to Kim Jong-un's late father who plunged the North deeper into isolation over its nuclear ambitions, abject poverty and political repression.
The biggest problem was that he opposed the government taking over control of the economy from the military, the source said, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions.
There is a North Korean singer by the name of Ri Sol-ju but it has not been confirmed whether Mr Kim's wife is the same woman.
Ms Ri is believed to have studied science and is from an upper-class family, her father being a professor and her mother an obstetrician, analyst Cheong Seong-chang told the South Korean Korea Times newspaper.
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