Posts Tagged ‘Kim Jong Il’
May 4th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
This is What Tyranny Looks Like
Posted by Print

In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s demise, it may be all too easy to forget about the other poweful madmen who continue to be the authors of human suffering throughout the world. One prime example: the leaders of North Korea. Slate reports the disturbing news from the hermit kingdom:

How bad have things gotten in North Korea?

Well for starters, an estimated 200,000 people are currently imprisoned in a network of prison camps spread throughout the secretive nation, according to a new Amnesty International report released Tuesday.

Worse yet, the detainees are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are routinely tortured and subjected to other cruel treatments. The vast majority of detainees have also witnessed public executions while at the camp, according to Amnesty International.

Remember those facts the next time you see Jimmy Carter glad-handing in Pyongyang. The leaders he thinks are only a few sweet words away from moderation and sensibility have a population the size of Des Moines locked up at the behest of the dear leader.

May 22nd, 2010 at 11:46 pm
Is Kim Jong-Il the World’s Most Powerful Man?

Not only is North Korea responsible for the unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship, the American intelligence community concludes that the government’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-Il ordered the attack.  It’s difficult to fathom any government other than North Korea’s being able to kill 46 members of another country’s military personnel by executive fiat, and be threatened with – at most – a United Nations sanction.

Since North Korea’s “Dear Leader” has it in his power to kill other people’s sailors at whim and expect almost no response, maybe he is the powerful man in the world.  If not, wait ‘til he gets a nuclear bomb.

May 12th, 2010 at 5:46 pm
World Cup Gives Insight into a Closed Society

For the first time in 44 years, Communist North Korea has qualified for the World Cup finals, joining 31 other teams in South Africa this summer for the biggest spectacle in sport. Entering the tournament ranked 106th in the world, the lowest of any team competing, the team is not expected to finish with any points, particularly since it has been drawn in a group with the best in the world, Brazil, and the immensely talented Portugal and Ivory Coast.

Then again, very little is known about the team sent by Kim Jong Il.  The Wall Street Journal has dubbed it The International Team of Mystery.  The last time the North Koreans competed in the Cup, equally underestimated, they managed to force a draw with Chile, then stunned perennial powerhouse Italy, winning 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals.  For this tournament, they had to navigate a qualifying season of 16 games, which included past Cup finalists, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

But as the WSJ explores, the most interesting thing about this team is the insight we can gain about the most closed culture on the planet.  Only a handful of its players have ever played professionally outside of North Korea, and those that have play in neighboring Russia and Japan.  They provide the only glimpse we have of these athletes’ lives.  One such player, Choe Myong Ho, told Russian media about his training ethic amid reports he did not own a TV or refrigerator:

“What is a refrigerator for? It allows you to get cold drinks in the summer… And if you do that, you could catch a cold and not be able to train.”

Really?  Is that what Glorious Leader told you?  According to the players, Kim Jong Il personally monitors the team’s progress and development.  This includes sending an agent to monitor Hong Young Jo for six months as he joined the professional Russian side FC Rostov.  Mr. Hong leads a quiet life in an apartment next to the stadium.  He has no car.  The joke in town is that he has no idea what his salary is because it all goes to Pyongyang.  The local paper has quoted him saying, “All my thoughts are on football and the party.”

Hopefully, for the sake of competition the North Koreans are able to come out and put on a good show and not be the doormat that everyone expects.  But more importantly, as the team steps into a rare spotlight, hopefully the world is reminded of the oppression of communism.