The Deadly Dictator

Kim Jong Il's idiosyncrasies can overshadow his atrociousness. With his bouffant hair, platform shoes, "pleasure groups" of attractive young women, and lusty appetite for fine wine and sushi, the North Korean dictator sometimes comes across more like a movie villain than a true menace. In Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea, veteran journalist Jasper Becker dutifully recounts the strange tales of Kim's extravagance. But the author is less concerned with the Dear Leader's personality quirks than with the murder and misery under Kim's brutal rule. To Becker, Kim Jong Il is not a cartoonish Dr....

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