Nov 17, 2004

Shifting focus momentarily 

Prying my eyes away from Iraq for a moment and looking at the PACOM AOR, it would seem that "the Jonger" has gone even deeper into reclusion.

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Say herro to my riddle frien' (or maybe "goodbye"?)

Apparently, the "Dear Leader" of North Korea has gone into a huge funk over the death of his favorite stripper/mistress - I am not making this up. However, it will cheer you to know that he took the news of W's election victory even harder... but I digress. She also happens to have fathered two of his kids including the most likely heir to the throne garbage heap, Kim Jong-chul.

This has caused a great many strange things to take place in the land that prosperity forgot, mainly the smiling visage of the little hand grenade with the bad haircut (that's NOT Ross Perot) can NO LONGER be seen on every street corner north of the 38th parallel.

Very odd indeed, for a land that patterns itself on Uncle Joe Stalin's model of putting the boss's picture up everydamnwhere.
"Getting rid of portraits is a very serious gesture. Portraits of Kim Jong-il are different from, say, a portrait of a head of state somewhere else. If you're starting to get rid of icons it means that something is wrong with your god."

Side-by-side pictures of the 63-year-old "Dear Leader" and his late father, Kim Il-sung, are standard decoration in public places, government offices, schools and other buildings in the Stalinist state, Lankov said.

The Russian news agency Itar-Tass cited an unnamed diplomat as saying that at receptions hosted by Pyongyang's foreign ministry, guests had seen pictures of Kim Il-sung, but only a mark on the wall nearby where a portrait of the current leader hung before.
Now, I don't pretend to know the intricacies of what goes on in the North Korean mind, but strange things are afoot at the Circle K...
A North Korean diplomatic source in Beijing denied the reports about the portraits, telling Russia's Interfax news agency that "everything remains the same in Pyongyang."
An official at North Korea's Embassy in Moscow also said the reports were false. "You cannot take down the sun from the sky - it's impossible,"
But the cult of personality is a little see-through on some of this stuff.
There was no public funeral, but North Koreans noticed that extravagant praise for a figure called Omonim ("respected mother") had vanished from propaganda documents.
And it gets wierder...
In Seoul, a government intelligence analyst reported that in recent days North Korea's state radio had shifted one catch phrase from "Kim Jong Il, ruling according to the Kim Il Sung legacy" to simply "Ruling by Kim Il Sung."
So now the DEAD GUY is in charge? WTF is goin' on over there!?

Some folks speculate that the Jonger is getting ready to name his successor. Others say the pictures are "just out at the cleaners." I say the guy's a nut-ball, either way.

What say you?

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