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FROM THIS EPISODE

North Korea won't turn into Disneyland any time soon, but one of the world's most isolated and secretive nations has opened to tourists. They aren't allowed to see much and it's all about the economy. We hear about the first visit and what it could mean for a country that has shut out the rest of the world since 1953. Also, Myanmar’s Suu Kyi rejoins the political arena. On Reporter's Notebook, do pizza and French fries qualify as "healthy foods" for the federal school lunch program? The Obama Administration says, "No." Congress says, "Yes."

Banner image: Chinese tourists pose for photos along a scenic spot at the Mount Kumgang international tourist zone in North Korea. August 31, 2011 Photo by Goh Chai Him/AFP/Getty Images

Nothing to Envy

Barbara Demick

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Frances Anderton

Making News Myanmar's Suu Kyi Rejoins Political Arena 7 MIN, 49 SEC

On his way to the Asian Summit in Bali, President Obama spoke by phone yesterday with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel-Prize-winning opposition leader in Burma, or Myanmar. Today, Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy agreed to register for elections, an expression of confidence in recent reforms. Jennifer Quigley is advocacy coordinator for the US Campaign for Burma, a human rights group in Washington.

Guests:
Jennifer Quigley, US Campaign for Burma

Main Topic A Glimpse at North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom 34 MIN, 7 SEC

North Korea is the world's most militarized nation and one of the poorest; the government does whatever it can to prevent information from seeping across the borders. In the 1990's, famine killed between one and two million people, and the economy continues to struggle under US and UN sanctions due to the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons. So there's a bit of a change. A tiny crack has been opened to tourists in the hope that investors might see opportunity, but it's tourism of a very limited kind. We hear about the first visit, how defectors describe what life is really like and what the current prospects might be for reunification with South Korea.

Guests:
Keith Richburg, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (@keithrichburg)
Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times (@BarbaraDemick)
Victor Cha, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@vcgiants)

Nuclear North Korea

Victor Cha

Reporter's Notebook Political Food Fight: Pizza as a Vegetable in School Lunches 9 MIN, 16 SEC

Ronald Reagan failed to have ketchup defined as a vegetable for the federal school lunch program, but pizza and French fries are on the menu. With 17 percent of Americans aged two to 19 obese, the Obama Administration wants overhaul nutrition rules for federal school lunch programs. But Republicans in Congress complain about what they call "overly burdensome and costly regulations." Ron Nixon is Washington correspondent for the New York Times.

Guests:
Ron Nixon, New York Times

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