Over at Global Talk 21, the perspicacious Okumura Jun has noted a peculiar deviation in the northern of the two Koreas: the complete junking of the Confucian commandment, observed by Kim Jong-il after the death of his father, of a 3+ year period of mourning. (Link)
A lot of really weird stuff has been happening in the DPRK of late -- press availabilities at supposedly super-secret rocket launch sites, non-testing of atomic devices, the reinvitation of Kim Jong-il's Japanese chef back to Pyongyang, the unlicensed Disney characters dancing and projections of scenes from Rocky movies at televised concerts for the elite. (E).
All this weirdness keeps the folks who write for 38North very busy. James Church, for example, has written a very helpful post arguing that the word to look for in any current statement coming out of the DPRK is "belt."
Little do I know about the DPRK and the ins and outs of Pyongyang. However, this I do know: the Kid is not North Korean. Whatever it might say on his current official DPRK passport, if he has one, North Korean is not his true nationality. He is, for all intents and purposes, Swiss -- having seemingly spent almost his entire life in that country.
To expect him to make an about-face and really dig being the evil dictator of a dirt-poor, culturally deprived, enemy-of-all-humankind rathole does not make much sense. Note how quickly the leadership has found him his Lady Diana, whom we can assume is from a family with impeccable political credentials, is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, is presumed fecund and is likely schooled in certain arts to keep him...occupied (E)...lest he become annoyed with the Confucian monarch routine after growing up in the land of cuckoo clocks, chocolate, cheese, skiing and UBS.
Later - The sharp-eyed and knowledgeable have nailed down the newly-minted missus as being a much-touted singer and former member of the DPRK cheering squads (J).
The leadership have thus provided the Young General with a spouse who knows how to charm and perform and who has not the least doubt about the rightness of the regime.
Jiang Qing, any comments?
Later still - The Onion News Service (satire) has a report out from inside the private world of Kim Jong-eun and his wife. (Link)
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