Magazine article Insight on the News

News from the Workers' Paradise of North Korea

Magazine article Insight on the News

News from the Workers' Paradise of North Korea

Article excerpt

Kim Jong Il, the beloved leader of the Stalinist workers' paradise of North Korea whose birthday falls on Feb. 16, had a most triumphant year. If you doubt that, ask the Korea News Service, or KNS, which regularly releases descriptions of the beloved leader's achievements -- but somehow fails to take notice of such events as the collapse of North Korean industry, the country's severe power shortages and widespread hunger and starvation taking place in the countryside. Here is a chronology of Kim Jong Il's 1998:

January: The KNS reported that "the whole party, all the army and all the people now are filled with a rock-firm determination to become human bombs and bullets in devotedly defending General Kim Jong Il and demonstrate socialism, a strong ideological fortress and bulwark of faith, without the slightest vacillation no matter how the situation may change."

February: Kim Jong Il visited the training facilities of his military. The news service reported that "he noted with great satisfaction that all [Korean warriors] have been firmly prepared to be a match for 100 fighters through steady combat training, and put forward highly important tasks which constitute guidelines in further strengthening and developing the revolutionary armed forces of Korea." The KNS reported that small flowers sprouted from the snow where the leader had walked and said that he stressed the importance of his Juche [loosely, self-reliance] idea in his "on the spot guidance."

March: On the 23rd, more than a month after the blessed birthday event, the KNS got around to tallying the telegrams Kim Jong Il received from "over 1,200 important personages."

April: The news service carded a report about the country's national comedy company, which allegedly fills its 2,000-seat theater every night. "The comedies are associated with the deep care of General Kim Jong Il, who always wants to provide the people with a cheerful life," the KNS reports. "[Kim] selected famous comedians for the company and saw its performance on some 10 occasions to teach in detail how to create and perform Juche-oriented comedies.... Its performance has encouraged the people throughout the country in the forced march for the final victory."

May: On another visit to a military company, Kim Jong Il encouraged the men to "feel a burning hatred for the enemy" and then gave them many important tasks to do. …

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