Scenes From a Neighbor

Kingdom North Korea is frozen in time, in ideology and in its prospects

Only 27 miles north of embattled Seoul, across the 38th parallel, is another Korea, in every sense an opposite to the turbulent, economically dynamic South. Hunkered behind miles of barbed wire and minefields, Communist North Korea is a constant, sometimes threatening presence in South Korean life. Spartan, plodding, more regimented than all but a few other Communist nations, it seems to act with one corporate mind. That mind belongs to Kim Il Sung, 75, the "Great Leader" who has been whipping North Korea into a model Communist state for 39 years. Kim's stable despotism is backed by an 885,000-strong army, navy...

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