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Meeting Kim Jong-un?

22 0 3
By David Tizzard

Still as wide as he is tall and with a flattop that would make Guile from "Street Fighter" proud, an emotional Chairman Kim Jong-un appeared to cry as he addressed the citizens of North Korea recently. He was apologizing.

Speaking at a military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the country's Workers' Party, Kim took off his glasses and seemed visibly moved by the situation that confronted him.

But just take a breath and consider that. The leader of the country cried (twice) and said sorry to his citizens for his failure to combat and address particular issues appropriately.

We could easily live through innumerable incarnations of the universe's current timeline and never get anywhere near Messrs. Trump, Johnson, Putin, Erdogan or Bolsonaro saying anything remotely similar to the population that has placed them in vaunted positions of power.

Of course, cultural idiosyncrasies have to be taken into account. And this is not to suggest that the North's fag-smoking ruler is in any way more benevolent than his international contemporaries.

However, rather than tirades, tweets, or toxins injected into the bodies of political opponents (he'd already done that at a Malaysian airport, to be fair), the people of Kim's country got tears.

First was for the lack of continued economic development that would directly benefit the people: Particularly the elite in Pyongyang. North Korea must keep the privileged in the style they are accustomed to or risk losing their legitimacy.

And there is a certain luxury to life in the DPRK's capital. Those who live there, judged according to the Songbun political caste system, have department stores, restaurants, water parks and other various trappings of modernity.

The second........

© The Korea Times

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