Korea: August 8, 2001

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Kim Jong Il's long train trip to Moscow ended with a whimper. A feel good agreement was signed with Russia that said basically nothing (except to oppose American missile defense). The main purpose of the trip appears to have been improving Kim's image at home. There is apparently still some dispute among the senior North Korean leadership about what to do next. Kim does not have his father's clout and this is causing problems. For example, the agreement to reopen the railroad between the north and the south mysteriously came to a halt in the north last Fall. This was typical of the North, where factional squabbles or indecision stop work for no apparent reason.


 

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