North Korea: A Change of Course For the Flying Red Horse

For more than a decade, the most reliably raucous of Peking's Asian allies was North Korea's Kim Il Sung. No longer. Since early this year, Kim has been steering an increasingly independent course. To Moscow's delight and Peking's chagrin, Kim & ; Co. chose to keep silent in the current Indo-Pakistani crisis; even over the explosive issue of Viet Nam, North Korea has been less vitriolic than Peking wishes.

The reasons for Pyongyang's shift are largely economic. To close the gap between North Korea's backward agriculture and burgeoning industry, Kim seven years ago launched a "Great Leap Forward" of his own....

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