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Former NBA star's lavish birthday gifts for 'friend for life' Kim Jong-un may have violated international sanctions imposed on North Korea

It's official – Kim Jong-un is married

State media in North Korea have said for the first time that the country's young leader is married, ending weeks of speculation about a woman who had been seen with him at recent public events.

North Korea confirms Kim Jong-un's marriage to Ri Sol-ju

With the briefest of remarks, North Korea ended weeks of speculation: The mystery woman accompanying young leader Kim Jong-un to recent public events is his wife, “comrade Ri Sol-ju.”

Kim tightens his grip on army with a new rank

Kim Jong-un has been granted a new title, apparently to cement the North Korean leader's control of the armed forces amid a top-level shake-up.

North Korean TV shows an unidentified woman close behind Kim Jong-un

Is former pop star Kim Jong-un's new First Lady?

Hair trimmed in a neat bob, large eyes, a self-confident smile: a glamorous young woman has taken centre stage in recent days alongside North Korea's young supreme leader Kim Jong-un. The typically careful presentation of the pair – and nothing presentational is left to chance in North Korea – suggested strongly that they were husband and wife; that here was North Korea's First Lady, or at least she is well on her way to being so.

Caligula, English National Opera

The Roman emperor Caligula is best known for making his horse a senator, but the figure portrayed in Albert Camus’s early play ‘Caligula’ had an over-arching and terrible significance.

Tyrant: Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley star in the comedy ‘The Dictator’

The Dictator: Satire doesn't quite hit despot

The first laugh comes before the film has even started. "In loving memory of Kim Jong-il" reads the dedication title. It pretty much sets the tone for The Dictator, a broad, hit-and-miss satire about an Arab tyrant's indulgence of his capricious – and murderous – will.

North Korea escalates rhetoric against South

North Korea sharply escalated the rhetoric against its southern rival, claiming it would soon conduct “special actions” that would reduce South Korea's conservative government to ashes within minutes.

North Korea threatens 'unprecedented' action against the South

North Korea's military vowed today to launch unspecified "special actions" soon meant to reduce South Korea's conservative government and media companies "to ashes" in less that four minutes, in an escalation of its recent threats. 

Secrets of Kim's Swiss school days revealed

North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-un spent more of his childhood being educated under a pseudonym in Switzerland than originally thought, the Swiss press reported yesterday.

Poets from all Olympic nations sought to line up at London 2012 festival

Wanted: 23 "missing" poets. Must be from Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea, Liechtenstein or one of 20 other nations still missing from the roster of a record-breaking poetry event scheduled to form part of this summer's Olympics cultural programme.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives his first public speech during a massive celebration marking the 100th birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung

North Korea's leader vows to uphold 'army first' policy

North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un, spoke in public for the first time yesterday, choosing the massive ceremony on the centenary of the birth of his grandfather, the "Great Leader", Kim Il-sung, to read from a prepared text vowing to build on the "military-first" policies propounded by his late father, Kim Jong-il.

Leading article: A failure that is preferable to success

The dismal failure of North Korea's rocket launch will, and should, be a cause for widespread relief. Whether the launch was intended, as Pyongyang insisted, to put a satellite in orbit marking the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, or designed – as many Western observers believed – to test a long-range missile, or perhaps both, is for the moment an academic question.

Kerry Brown: This inept move may finally try the patience of China

Has Kim Jong-un been given rope to hang himself or will this failure strengthen his hand?

North Korean embarrassment as rocket launch fails

The much-anticipated North Korean rocket launch that had threatened to cause a further deterioration in the relationship between the reclusive communist state and its neighbours today ended in failure.

Workers repair a road by hand

Journey into the heart of North Korea's hidden world

Copycat haircuts, missile testsand mass denial. By Tomiko Newson in Pyongyang

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