Kim Jong Il
Kim Jong Il (or Kim Jong-il, to prevent confusion when using sans serif fonts) (1941-2011) was the vertically challenged megalomaniac totalitarian dictator of North Korea. George Orwell had a premonition about Kim and wrote a novel about a regime that is eerily similar to his.
Kim Jong Il was the second member of a dynasty that began with his old man, Kim Il Sung; whose personality cult was transferred to the son after his death. The elder Kim was at least an honest-to-something anti-colonialist, having fought the Japanese during World War II. The younger one did diddly squat - unless you believe the North Korean press, in which case he wrote ballets, cured cancer, and single-handedly built an atomic weapon. Nighttime photographs from space show a peculiar lack of man-made light from the northern half of the Korean peninsula - an amateur astronomers' paradise, perhaps, but it mostly means they have no electricity.
Kim Jong Il was probably the most repressive dictator on the planet, continuing his father's trend of making North Korea a giant prison, and people are not allowed to enter or leave. Very few people own cars, and large segments of the population face famine and disease because of the government's inability to provide even the basic necessities for its citizens. At least part of this is due to the fact that military service is mandatory for all males from age 18 to 35, taking some of the most productive members of the work force out of society, and the extreme emphasis on
Kim's porn collection military spending (the Korean War never officially ended) also means there are few resources to allocate toward food production. Moreover, he has stymied most attempts at foreign investment, despite efforts by South Korea to help.
In June 2009 Kim officially named his youngest son, Kim Jong Un to be his successor. Not much is known about him other than that he enjoyed Jean-Claude Van Damme movies and Michael Jordan. On December 17, 2011, Kim Jong Il had the good grace to die, and nothing of value was lost.
- Born on the Korean Holy Mountain Mount Paekdu
- More powerful fashion trendsetter than all of Milan, Paris, or New York
- Imperialist Lie: Dressed like somebody living in a retirement community
- Beloved around the world by billions.
- Imperialist Lie: Most people don't know enough about him but should probably learn more about the man who could have started World War III.
- Invented a meal called the "Double Bread With Meat"
- Imperialist Lie: This is also known as the sandwich, named after the Earl of Sandwich in the 18th century.
- World's Greatest Golfer: When the first 18 hole golf course opened in North Korea the dear leader posted a -38 with 5 holes in one!
- Imperialist Lie: Some guy named Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.
- Dear leader was a great movie producer. Famed South Korean director Shin Sang-ok came north to create a unique masterpiece.
- Imperialist Lie: Shin was kidnapped and imprisoned by Kim, who then made a cheap propaganda knock off of Godzilla.
 But seriously...
Shortly after Kim's death, The NYT's Nicholas Kristof recalled a few of his encounters during his visit to North Korea. Americans and others had questioned the weepy reactions by North Koreans to the news of The Dear Leader's death; Kristof assured his readers that those reactions were very likely genuine for one obvious reason -- North Koreans have no access to any dissenting voices, and they can't turn off the propaganda, either; they're fully brainwashed. Some of his recollections:
- North Korean apartments and public spaces have propaganda speakers that double as clock radios. Everybody wakes up to an onslaught of propaganda every morning. ("In his first golf outing, Comrade Kim Jong-il shoots five holes-in-one!"). The ubiquitous propaganda speaker one-ups the likes of Stalin and Mao, who were limited in their ability to pipe propaganda into every corner of their countries.
- The disabled aren't allowed to live in Pyongyang. The capital must remain a pristine showplace.
- During ongoing famines, the media has "warned starving citizens against overeating by recounting the cautionary tale of a man who ate his fill, and then exploded."
- He once approached two teenaged girls to ask them questions. As they spoke, their answer synchronized so that at the end they were talking like remote-controlled robots.
- Ever see those satellite photos that show North Korea blacked out at night? It turns out that the police do this so North Koreans can't watch videos smuggled in from China.
- He also recounts an account from a Bradley Martin book. One of Kim's aides criticized The Dear Leader's womanizing. The wife wrote a letter to Kim, chastising him. Kim then brought the woman before a crowd and denounced her. And then, (shudder) -- "Her own husband then stepped forward, pleading to be allowed to execute her. This request was granted, and the husband then shot his wife to death."
- ↑ As Rick Perry famously did when giving his reaction to the Dear Leader's death December 19, 2011
- ↑ The Washington Post: Son Named Heir to North Korea's Kim Studied in Switzerland, Reportedly Loves NBA June 3, 2009
- ↑ Listverse: Top 10 Crazy Facts About Kim Jong Il May 30, 2010
- ↑ Even more at Buzzfeed's 20 Ridiculous Things You Never Knew About Kim Jong-il December 18, 2011
- ↑ The Colbert Report: Stephen's Sound Advice - How to Be a Totalitarian Nutjob June 15, 2009
- ↑ Brown, Andrew: "North Korea's godless miracles mean nothing", The Guardian, 22 December 2011, accessed 26 December 2011.
- ↑ Kristof, Nicholas D. "A New Kim. A New Chance?", New York Times, 21 December 2011, accessed 27 December 2011.