Leave it to the recently-departed Christopher Hitchens, to paint the best if not grimmest picture of the state of North Korea in this day and age. Though he wrote this almost two years ago, I can think of no other piece that I've come across that gives us a clearer snapshot of what is going on in this bizarre cult dictatorship. It surely touches on the utter insanity the world is up against. Especially now that it's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il has bought the farm. And his twenty-something son, who is already a four-star general (all by personal achievement I'm sure) is taking the throne. Thanks to the relentless brainwashing, and physical/mental stunting that Hitchens describes so vividly, of an entire population, over several generations, one thing is clear. North Korea is not going to be an easy mess to clean up, and it won't happen anytime soon.
Kim Jong-il's regime is even weirder and more despicable than you thought.
By Christopher Hitchens|Posted Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at 10:01 AM ET
North Korea some years ago, I was lucky to have a fairly genial "minder" whom I'll call Mr. Chae. He guided me patiently around the ruined and starving country, explaining things away by means of a sort of denial mechanism and never seeming to lose interest in the gargantuan monuments to the world's most hysterical and operatic leader-cult. One evening, as we tried to dine on some gristly bits of duck, he mentioned yet another reason why the day should not long be postponed when the whole peninsula was united under the beaming rule of the Dear Leader. The people of South Korea, he pointed out, were becoming mongrelized. They wedded foreigners—even black American soldiers, or so he'd heard to his evident disgust—and were losing their purity and distinction. Not for Mr. Chae the charm of the ethnic mosaic, but rather a rigid and unpolluted uniformity. (Read On...)