Kim Jong Il

Self-Confidence With Nukes

A portly man who has been suspected of wearing platform shoes and having an unhealthy appetite for movies--and movie stars--can be expected to be the butt of jokes. But North Korea's Dear Leader is no laughing matter. Since his accession to power on the death of his father Kim Il Sung, in 1994, Kim Jong Il has shown that an economic basket case of a state, which at times has been unable to feed its people, and which is brutally authoritarian, can still manage to keep the great powers off balance--so long as it has, or plausibly threatens to have, nuclear...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!