U of C professor talks North Korea, Obama's beefed up Asia-Pacific policy

January 13, 2012

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(AP)
North Koreans mourn Kim Jong Il's death with almost a spiritual devotion, in this government-issued image.

North Korea’s government-run Central News Agency announced yesterday that the body of Kim Jong-il will be embalmed and laid in state next to Kim Jong-un, his father and founder of the communist state.  The regime also alleges it will build “smiling portraits” of Kim and “towers to his immortality.” The efforts reinforce the power of the Kim dynasty, as Kim Jong-il’s son Kim Jong-un takes over as the new “Supreme Leader.”

Before Kim Jong-il's death the United States offered to provide food aid to North Korea if it halted its uranium enrichment program.  North Korea has indicated it may be open to negotiations on such a deal. And, the Obama administration says it plans to shift its military policy toward Asia, away from the Middle East.  

Worldview talks with Bruce Cumings,  chairman of the University of Chicago's history department and author of several books, including, most recently, The Korean War: A History, about what it all means.