Sunday, October 15, 2006

Leading from the front

What would it be like to have a political leader who was the world's top golfer? A film maker? A fashion designer? A military mastermind?

May the R & A Tremble
NK News, a splendid database of North Korean propaganda reports it's twelve years since Kim Jong Il's majestic golf game. It aims to set the record straight, given all the ridiculous comments made.
The best documentation I can find about the event prevents a far more balanced and realistic picture. The actual story seems to be that, while playing on the PGA-level eighteen-hole par-72 golf course in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il chalked up a much more modest 38-under-par 34. And it was five holes-in-one, not eighteen. At the risk of sounding a bit condescending, I must admonish readers of NK News to be sure they have their facts straight, and not get carried away by wild rumors or innuendo.

May James Cameron Worry
One of this year's top movies1 is "Diary of a Student Girl". Its script writer and producer is Jong-il Kim, better known for reasons of orthography as Kim Jong Il. The official North Korean news agency reports (via NK News)
Letter to Kim Jong Il from Participants in Film Festival
Pyongyang, September 22 (KCNA) -- Leader Kim Jong Il received a letter from the participants in the 10th Pyongyang International Film Festival on Friday. The festival was all the more significant one as it was well organized and flawless, the letter said, and went on:
During the festival we have come to understand well that Kim Jong Il has paid special concern to the movie sector long ago and energetically guided movie-making to open a heyday in the development of Korean movies. We were moved to see good feature films "A Schoolgirl's Diary" and "Pyongyang Nalpharam" reflecting the fresh development of Korean movies.
Seeing with our own eyes all the Korean moviemen ardently revering Your Excellency Kim Jong Il as their benevolent father and dear teacher, we have been convinced that Korean movie art will make leaping progress in the future as long as they are under your wise leadership.
Short as our stay in your country was, we could realize that the secret that the Korean people wrought world-startling miracles one after another, bravely breaking through difficulties lies in the single-minded unity of the leader and the people. Availing ourselves of this opportunity, we extend heartfelt thanks to Your Excellency Kim Jong Il for always paying so deep concern that the festival may successfully be held true to the expectation of progressive people and moviemen of the world. Independence, peace and friendship are the lofty idea of the Pyongyang Festival and the common desire of the progressive people of the world.
.$B!!.(BWe will in the future, too, sincerely participate in the festival and make positive efforts for the development of genuine movie art suitable to the desire of the progressives.
It must be great living in a country where the Great Leader takes such an active role in the everyday life of the citizens. It must be great living in a country where the Great Leader is a sporting superstar, a filmaker, a designer, a scientist. It must be great living in a country where the Great Leader is Kim Jong Il. It must be great living in a country where the Great Leader is Kim Jong Il if, and only if, you are Kim Jong Il.

Let's look for more information about the Workers paradise that is the DPKR. What about this. Or this report on life in a country where the slightest ideological divergence leads to "revolutionization", a punishment of banishment and hard labour.

Recent pictures of Kim Jong Il show that he has changed from wearing sub-military fusc to wearing an anorak that would be rejected by your grandad as a bit too Matalan seconds. Can we read anything into this change? Or is the air getting a bit chill in Pyongyang?

1: One of this year's top movies in North Korea.

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