Korea: April 9, 2002


In a surprise move, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il himself proposed a second crossing of the DMZ, on the east coast. This, in addition to economic development teams being sent to China and Russia to examine how to convert a communist economy to a market one, indicate that the militaristic communist conservatives in the north may be losing influence. The number of North Korean refugees reaching South Korea continues to rise, with 214 so far this year (compared to 583 in 2001, 312 in 2000 and 148 in 1999.) 


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