Kim & The Conductor: The Dust-Up That Wasn’t

The story spread like wildfire across the Pacific Rim this week: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il had been courting superstar conductor Seiji Ozawa to lead the North Korean national orchestra, and Ozawa had repeatedly rebuffed him, saying that “the political environment in North Korea is not one that would allow me to focus on music.” The only problem with the story is that it apparently isn’t true: Ozawa’s representatives say he has never been contacted by Kim, and that the news reports were the first he’d heard of the situation.