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Why Myanmar, North Korea are keeping their own time

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The North Korean women's soccer team returns to a warm welcome in Pyongyang on Aug. 10 after beating South Korea to win the Women's East Asian Cup in China.   © Kyodo

The U.S. has for decades lumped North Korea and Myanmar together as East Asian foreign policy problems. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice specifically underscored that connection when she included both North Korea and Myanmar -- formerly known as Burma -- as "outposts of tyranny" in her Senate confirmation hearings.

     Whatever the criteria, the two have indeed enjoyed a relationship of sorts, beginning with diplomatic relations and later through the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1983, however, relations changed: North Korea attempted to assassinate South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan during a visit to Myanmar that year, killing 17 South Korean officials, including several cabinet ministers.

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