Kim Jong-Un’s PR Machine

If Kim Jong-Un were not the Dictator of North Korea, he might be successful as the star of a comedy show. On the other hand, it would not seem so funny were he not the leader of a nation, so perhaps the two jobs, unfortunately, really go hand in hand. Now that he has managed to make the world news headlines on almost a daily basis, it might be a good time to look at some of his more remarkable achievements, so called, as the leader of North Korea.

-The first time he ever picked up a set of golf clubs, he shot a 34, less than two strokes per-hole, including five holes in one.

-He posted a picture of a missile launch from a submarine that experts determined to be fraudulent.

-His hairdo, with a bushy top and sides of the head shaved, is de-rigeur for the men of North Korea, under pain of execution.

-He had his own uncle, who helped to leverage him into power, executed by being shot with anti-aircraft guns.

-He had mock videos made of North Korean missiles blowing up San Francisco.

-He had his half brother assassinated by women who applied a very powerful poisonous cloth to his face in Kula Lumpur airport.

-He berated his generals at a state party for not conquering enough countries for him, and demanded that the submit letters of resignation the next day. When they appeared with their letters, he had forgotten having told them to do so, apparently having been in a blackout because of too much drinking.

This summary, of course, is only a hint of the kind of general absurdities that witnesses unfortunate enough to be close to this bizarre dictator, must witness on a daily basis. When one looks at picture of people near him, at state affairs and such like, one can see the fear in their eyes, obviously constantly trying to determine what exact behavior they must display to avoid being put to death by him. Such was the case with Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolph Hitler and scores of other smaller time dictators across the globe, but it seems doubtful that any of them could match King Jong-Un for self grandiosity to the point of absurdity. One example that comes to mind is Robert Graves’ portrayal of the Roman Emperor Caligula’s announcement that he had become a God, where the giggles of some present in the Royal Court that day had to be stifled to prevent the gigglers from becoming likely candidates for execution. At least the Romans, in Caligula’s case, had the courage to assassinate their crazy leader to prevent the country from suffering more greatly under the rule of a lunatic, but it seems that there are no such plans for revolt in North Korea. Perhaps a country under the leadership of a family of dictators for three generations is likely to be subject, by force of habit, to state publicity that sets new standards for deceit in the public sphere.

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2 comments

  1. Nice article Terrence! As an aside to Pretorian Guards solving the problem of an out of control tyrant, Aeschylus had a quote that went something like”Tyrants are infected with a sickness, they can’t trust their friends.” We can only hope.

    • Terrence Crimmins
      / Reply

      Thanks Alan. I loved the scene in I Claudius when the Praetorian Guard found Claudius behind the curtains after Caligula was assassinated and decided to make him the Emperor

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