1. The Hermit Kingdom

    Kim Jong-Un: Better Ties With South

    In this Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks on podium in Pyongyang, North Korea. Making his first New Year's speech, Kim called Tuesday for his country to focus on economic improvements with the same urgency that scientists put into the launch of a long-range rocket last month. (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video) TV OUT, NORTH KOREA OUT


    Is Kim Jong-un taking the whole “new year, new slate” thing a little too seriously? The North Korean leader cited improving the economy and improving relations with South Korea as his two primary policy goals for the New Year. In his New Year address on Tuesday, Kim called creating an “economic giant” the “most important task” and stated that “the reunification of the country is the greatest national task that brooks no further delay.” Park Geun Hye, the president-elect of South Korea, has previously stated her willingness to talk to Kim and make efforts to thaw ties with the North. North Korea’s economy is about one-fortieth the size of South Korea’s and two-thirds of its population suffers from malnutrition.

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