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  • History is made as Kim Jong-un crosses the border.

  • It's the first time a North Korean leader has set foot in the South.

  • This step is the latest chapter in Kim's head-spinning makeover from a stern-faced despot into a smiling diplomat.

  • Somebody President Trump ridiculed as "Little Rocket Man."

  • "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself." — has suddenly become"very honorable".

  • "He really has been very open, very honorable."

  • Here is how Kim did it.

  • STEP 1: Bombs Away.

  • Kim may have felt that he had the leverage to turn a diplomatic corner once he was able to show that his country could be a nuclear power.

  • STEP 2: Turn on the Charm.

  • Kim kicks off his charm offensive by dispatching his so-called army of beauties to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

  • He also sends his sister Kim Yo-jongthe first time a member of the Kim family visited South Korea since the Korean War.

  • She becomes an overnight sensation in the South.

  • STEP 3: Make New Friends.

  • Kim hosts a delegation of high-level South Korean officials in Pyongyang.

  • The officials from the South deliver a bombshell to the White House: Kim wants to meet Trump, and Trump, shocking the world, says yes.

  • "Trump responded saying yes."

  • "Surprise, praise, skepticism."

  • STEP 4: Break Out of Your Shell.

  • "This was indeed a shocker."

  • Kim secretly leaves the country for the first time since taking power.

  • His destination: Beijing, where he visits with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

  • It's Kim's first meeting with another head of state.

  • STEP 5: Practice Playing Nice

  • Kim hosts the International Olympic Committee in Pyongyang to thank them for their support and to say that North Korea will take part in the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics.

  • STEP 6: Let Your Hair Down.

  • Kim loosens North Korea's iron grip on pop culture as he and his wife rock out at a two-hour K-pop concert in Pyongyang.

  • He even poses for a photo with a popular South Korean girl band, Red Velvet.

  • STEP 7: Art of the Tease.

  • Kim secretly meets and had a photo op with then-C.I.A. director Mike Pompeo, signaling planning is underway for a summit.

  • STEP 8: Make Peace. Not War.

  • North Korea announces a new pledge to end nuclear and missile testing and close a nuclear test site.

  • STEP 9: Sell the Drama.

  • Kim takes his historic stroll and calls for an age of peace.

  • It may mark the beginning of a historic thaw.

  • Whatever happens, it's clearly the start of a new Kim Jong-un.

History is made as Kim Jong-un crosses the border.

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How Kim Jong-un Went From International Pariah to Smiling Diplomat | NYT News

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/04
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