North Korea

North Korea Celebrates Birthday of Founder

The country's original totalitarian leader, Kim Il Sung, would've been 101

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After quick stops in Seoul and Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry touched down in Tokyo Sunday to meet with Japanese officials and discuss North Korea's recent threats. Kerry reiterated U.S. support for its Asian allies, saying Washington would "do what is necessary" to defend Japan and South Korea from any attack. Softening his tone slightly, he suggested that the U.S. could be willing to talk with the North, but only if Pyongyang takes steps toward giving up its nuclear weapons program. "We need the appropriate moment, appropriate circumstance," he said. That looks a long way off. On Sunday North Korea dismissed the overture, calling it a "cunning ploy."

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