When it comes to information, North Korea is a black hole. Those living there have no idea what's happening in the rest of the world, while those on the outside are forever unsuccessfully trying to get a glimpse of what's going on within. And at the very center of this void is a man best known for his goose-stepping military parades and clownish macho swagger: Kim Jong-il. In order to understand North Korea, you need to understand the figure who has come to represent it, both internally and around the globe. In Kim Jong-il: North Korea's Dear Leader, Revised and Updated Edition, internationally renowned authority on Korean issues Michael Breen raises the curtain on the true nature of the man whose ability to simultaneously fascinate and terrify is as remarkable as it is alarming. Addressing common myths and fallacies--including the mistaken belief that Kim was primed to inherit the Presidency from his father from childhood--Kim Jong-il sheds light on the 'Dear Leader's' hold over a country ravaged by poverty and famine. Filled with North Korean history, personal anecdotes, and fascinating insights into this nation of twenty-three million people and the man who controls them, this new edition is packed with rare photographs of Kim and his regime, giving readers unprecedented access to the well-known but little-understood despot. An expert on North Korea sheds new light on the enigmatic tyrant From his goose-stepping military parades to his clownish macho swagger, North Korea's Kim Jong-il is an odd amalgam of political cartoon and global menace. In charge of a nuclear arsenal he's threatened to use against the U.S. and Japan, the man, his motives, and the mechanisms of his absolute control over a country of twenty-three million people remains shrouded in mystery. In this second edition of his bestselling 'Kim Jong-il,' Michael Breen, a leading expert on North Korea, dispels common myths and fallacies about the so-called 'Dear Leader,' while turning a spotlight on the man to reveal his true nature and the nature of his hold over a country ravaged by poverty and famine. Looks at Kim from a broad perspective, unlike most other books that cater exclusively to those interested in policymaking and international relations Features new information about succession plans, as well as the latest scoop on the mounting pressure among world leaders to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions Illustrated with rare photographs of Kim and his regime Highly accessible and suitable for anyone interested in learning more about North Korea, it's government, and its leader, 'Kim Jong-il' unravels the mysteries, the myths, and the fallacies about the man in charge in ways that will entice even the harshest critics. PRAISE FOR KIM JONG-IL: NORTH KOREA'S DEAR LEADER WHO HE IS, WHAT HE WANTS, WHAT TO DO ABOUT HIM 'Kim Jong-Il: North Korea's Dear Leader is a fascinating tour through the tortured history of North Korea and the mind of Kim Jong-il. A must-read for all those trying to understand what is happening in the hermit kingdom and what is now one of the most unstable places on earth. The potential for a miscalculation is breathtaking in its dangers to us all.' Mike Moore former Director-General of WTO and former Prime Minister of New Zealand 'In Kim Jong-Il: North Korea's Dear Leader, Michael Breen provides what much of the world has been waiting for: an in-depth look at the dark and secret Korea of Kim Jong-il. His insights are revelatory, sophisticated, and plainly communicated. A testament to its accuracy, I doubt the book will see the light of day inside North Korea.'Dan Briody author of the bestseller The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group 'Michael Breen's portrait of Kim Jong-il is a compelling psychoanalysis of the world's last Stalinist dictator. The book explains how Kim manages to maintain an iron grip over his poverty-stricken country while holding the world's only superpower to ransom with weapons of mass destruction. In parts the book reads like a black comedy, so bizarre is the regime it describes. Breen combines his eye for farce with a keen sensitivity to the plight of North Korea's 23 million oppressed and starving people. But he makes it clear that it is too simplistic to dismiss Kim as an evil madman. Breen shows how North Korea is an accident of history, trapped in a Cold War time warp from which Kim is unable to escape. A lively and accessible read.'Andrew Ward Korea correspondent, Financial Times 'One can be free to hate him, but we must also learn more of the 'Fat Bastard' for he is unlikely to disappear however much we wish him to. Michael Breen has written an extremely timely, readable, and well-researched book to tell us who Kim Jong-il is and how best to deal with him.' Tomohiko Taniguchi Editor-at-Large, Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.