Dear Psychopathic Leader

 Posted by on 22 September 2005 at 10:26 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 222005

As part of a writing assignment for my Intermediate Writing course at OAC, I’ve been reading a bit on Dear Leader, a.k.a. North Korea’s crazed cult leader Kim Jong-Il. I was particularly struck by this psychologically revealing passage from a 2002 article on the recollections of a bodyguard who defected to South Korea.

Kim’s real partying took place at one of his two residences in Pyongyang, where he could drink, act the big shot and get close to pretty girls. The beverage of choice was Paekdu Mountain Bulnoju (or Eternal Youth) a fiery liquor made from rice. Female band members and dancers wore micro-minis and tank tops and the men gave them drinks if they performed well. The women were trained not to drink too much but the men, including Kim, usually ended the evening trashed.

During the working day, the drinking started again, sometimes as early as noon (although Kim didn’t get sloshed at the office). Kim became furious if he wasn’t the center of attention: he got upset if he saw people shaking hands while he was in the room, scolding them for ignoring him. When Kim was in a good mood, he would shower his guards with gifts: deer and birds he hunted and sometimes pineapples, bananas and mandarin oranges–all rare luxuries.

Now that’s a man with some deep psychological insecurities. Unlike most people, however, Kim has enough weapons, soldiers, and death camps to force every person in the whole country to cater to them.

Regarding Lee’s escape from the death camps of North Korea, the article says:

A year and a half ago, Lee successfully escaped North Korea via China and now lives in Seoul. After months of hesitation, he decided to tell his story for the first time after learning that North Korean authorities have put his family under surveillance. He hopes to keep the wife and son he left behind from harsh treatment, gambling that Pyongyang will hesitate to further blacken its international image once his story is public. These days, South Korea discourages defectors from speaking out to avoid upsetting President Kim Dae Jung’s policy of engagement with the North. But Lee, 39, believes engagement will never work: “North Korea’s not going to change,” he says. “If it did, Kim Jong Il thinks the country would collapse.”

South Korea’s “Sunshine Policy” of engagement with Kim Jong Il’s crazed totalitarian dictatorship is nothing more than the elevation of evasion into a principle of foreign policy. It’s like celebrating “National Head in the Sand Day” — every day!

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