AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

News from North Korea

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, January 14, 2010

THE SITUATION in North Korea must be deteriorating. Kim Jung-il has been reduced to telling the truth.

The General (or Shogun), as the Northerners call him, has admitted in a Rodong Shinmun (Labor Newspaper) article that the country isn’t a workers’ paradise after all:

“The president has said that people should be allowed to eat white rice and meat soup, wear silk clothes and live under tiled roofs. But we’ve so far failed to carry out this goal. I will certainly resolve the issue of people’s livelihood within the shortest possible period and achieve the president’s last wish.”

By the president, he means his father, Kim Il-sung. You know how dictators in some countries appoint themselves presidents for life? In North Korea, Kim Il-sung has just been appointed president for eternity. There were no reports of his reaction to the news, if any.

As the Daily NK put it:

To speak so clearly about the situation, experts suggest Kim Jong Il must have judged that people’s complaints about his rule have grown almost uncontrollable.

But the Rodong Shinmun article bucks up the public by explaining how the crisis is affecting the Dear Leader:

“Living in a train on a rigorous schedule is now a habit for the General. Until he has solved the people’s living problems he cannot sleep deeply at home.”

Well, it’s either that or he’s worried about assassination attempts.

In still more news, Kim Jong-eun’s position as his father’s eventual successor was seemingly solidified by the designation of his 8 January birthday as a public holiday. The workers receive three days off for his father’s and grandfather’s birthdays.

“'(W)orkers all over the country were involved in athletics competitions, cultural performances and loyalty singing gatherings. In provincial party organizations, there were lectures for cadres listening to recorded materials distributed by the Central Committee of the Party.’ The recorded materials…consisted of praise for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s achievements.”

Many happy returns. Bonnie Prince Kim may yet become Kim III, but I hope he understands that he should enjoy it while it lasts.

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