Monday, June 11, 2018

Kim Jong-il Revisited: R-O-C-K in DPRK


We often forget that North and South Korea are officially still at war. However, given the DPRK leader's legendary hairdo, it may be appropriate to speak not of "the fog of war" but "the fog of hair." The goings-on in the DPRK are famously opaque; hence, articles such as these:
Against this backdrop of daily stories are other indications of the Hermit Kingdom opening up, such as the Kaesong Industrial Complex featured in a slick video on the official website touting economic cooperation among the Koreas. In his inimitable way, Dear Leader is asking that you invest in North Korea [1, 2]. Optimistically, the website speaks of becoming the "most important hub for trading in North East Asia." Notably, while the webpage discusses reasons why this will become so, it does not elaborate on the claim about having the lowest labor cost in Asia. Once more, will North Korea's regular bellicose mutterings be diluted by the civilizing forces of commerce?

Certainly, economic integration with the rest of the world should dispel images imparted by hyperventilating news articles. Plus, Kim Jong-il should be less subject to becoming comedian's fodder as in the video above (it makes me happy that some people have too much free time; my minor nit to pick is that Danny Cho's hair is insufficiently bouffant). What if Kim actually started a YouTube mini-site promoting North Korea minus the 160-page "brief history" that passes for his biography? If you think Al Gore and Barack Obama have problems discussing invention, get a load of this guy. Nevertheless, the cult of personality shtick is getting old. Heck, even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a blogger just like me, albeit far more famous. For how much longer can Kim give the world the ol' run-around?

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