NORTH KOREA'S RECENT PROPAGANDA posters are a study in belligerence. One shows three towering missiles targeting Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. Another--the latest--depicts a hefty ballistic missile soaring high above Japan on its way to America. ""There is no limit to the offensive power of the Korean People's Army!'' declares a strand of text scrawled across the Pacific Ocean.
EACH SPRING, ARCHE-ologist Zheng Guang selects a wheat field near Erlitou and digs toward the origin of Chinese civilization. Since the 1960s he has unearthed an imposing imperial palace, extravagant tombs laden with pottery and ornamental jade, clay irrigation pipes and the oldest ritual bronze vessels yet discovered in China, all just meters below this farming village in central Henan province.
PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN STOOD beneath the massive funeral portrait of Deng Xiaoping and began to challenge his mentor's legacy. Speaking for the first time as China's paramount leader last week, Jiang hailed Deng's "immortal feats" as a young communist guerrilla and later as the "chief architect" of sweeping economic reform.
WASHINGTON SECRETLY offered China a nuclear deal last month: the Pentagon would not target U.S. missiles at China if Beijing returned the favor. To Bill Clinton's strategists, it looked like a win-win proposition; such a deal would shackle an American arsenal far larger than China's (at least for the few hours it would take to retarget the warheads).
THE 1,200 VILLAGERS OF GUSHUICUN live in the cradle of Chinese civilization. Yet they seem to have lost their historical perspective. On a sacred hill in northern Shaanxi province, near Taoist shrines and a traditional fertility hall, they have built a temple to Mao Zedong.
CHINA'S AILING "PARAMOUNT leader" is still with us, but critics are already shoveling dirt on his official legacy as the "great architect of reform." Sure, they say, Deng Xiaoping's "socialist market" brought rising prosperity, but it also unleashed crime, corruption and tension between rich and poor.