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Latest Kim Jong-Il Items
U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks do not all contain state secrets bound to embarrass and upset governments. Some reveal the acerbic wit of their authors.
North Korea warned Saturday that it is ready for an all-out war even as it dispatched its top diplomat to Russia amid a flurry of regional diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions over the North's deadly artillery attack on South Korea.
Diplomacy showed signs of life on the Korean Peninsula Thursday, two weeks after North Korea shelled its neighbor: China got off the sidelines and sent a top envoy to meet with Kim Jong-il, and an American governor whose visits have led to breakthroughs in the past announced another trip.
History occasionally repeats itself, but seldom with the carbon-copy quality of North Korea's provocative artillery attack on a small South Korean island near the disputed frontier. The latest aggression, a follow-up to the North's torpedoing of a South Korean patrol ship in March, shooting incidents in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and bellicose nuclear rhetoric coincides with the debut of Kim Jong-un, ailing strongman Kim Jong-il's son and designated successor.
South Korea's top trade official on Sunday defended a hard-fought compromise with the United States to salvage a stalled free-trade agreement, rejecting accusations that his government gave up too much to seal the deal.
South Korea's next defense chief threatened Friday that jets would bomb the North if it stages another attack like last week's deadly shelling as he outlined a tough new military policy toward the rival neighbor.
South Koreans called President Lee Myung-bak "the Bulldozer" when he plowed into office nearly three years ago with vows to stop coddling North Korea with unconditional aid.
Links to the WikiLeaks website were blocked within China on Wednesday amid potentially embarrassing claims made in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables posted to the site.
China knows less about and has less influence over its close ally North Korea than is usually presumed and is likely eventually to accept a reunified peninsula under South Korean rule, according to U.S. diplomatic files leaked to the WikiLeaks website.