Blood on the Tracks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il rarely ventures abroad and is said to be terrified of flying. On his infrequent trips to friendly capitals—a list consisting solely of Moscow and Beijing—he prefers to lumber along in a luxurious private train. Last Wednesday, Kim wound up a clandestine 2 1/2-day visit with China's leaders in Beijing—most likely to discuss international concerns over his nuclear-weapons program—and boarded his train for Pyongyang. It proceeded east to Dandong, crossed the North Korean border and passed through the city of Ryongchon. Some nine hours later, something sparked a cataclysmic explosion at the Ryongchon station, reportedly killing...

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