Love in the Time of Kim

Frustrated negotiators dealing with North Korea can take comfort: one foreigner, at least, got what he wanted from Kim Jong Il's regime. And it only took 30 years.

In 1971, Pham Ngoc Canh was a 23-year-old Vietnamese exchange student in Pyongyang. There he fell in love with Ri Yong-hui, 24, a North Korean factory worker. Their governments were communist soul mates, but relationships with foreigners were taboo in both countries. "I saw no chance," says Canh. Both were devastated when he left in 1973. A year later, Ri asked a Vietnamese student to smuggle a letter to...

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