North Korea Monitor

Kim Fiddles While Pyongyang Burns

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While the bottom half of the Korean peninsula prepares to celebrate the traditional Seollal (선날, Lunar New Year) holiday, the other half of the peninsula is gearing up to celebrate Kim Jong Il’s February 16th Birthday. Chosun Ilbo reports on the upcoming festivities:

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency also reported on Monday that a number of youths started a long march on Sunday to visit a “secret camp” at Mt. Baekdu, which North Korea claims is Kim’s birthplace. The KCNA quoted some youths as pledging to “trust and follow only the general (Kim Jong-il).” In addition, more than 100 organizations are participating in a festival of “Kim Jong-il flowers”, a hybrid cultivar of begonia. North Korea’s central TV reported, “immortal Kim Jong-il flowers are budding across the country. All organizations, and provinces, cities and counties are devoting themselves to making the flowers, which they will put on show, bloom more beautifully during the festival.” North Korean factories are also preparing to distribute special rations. The Chosun Shinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon, recently wrote, “Confectionery factories nationwide are busy producing candies and cookies to give to the people” on Kim’s birthday. North Korea distributes special rations of candies or cookies to the people on the birthdays of Kim and his late father Kim Il-song. The Chosun Shinbo also wrote, “Pyongyang Botonggang Footwear Factory has begun producing footwear to distribute” on the birthday. This factory produces footwear based on raw materials supplied by South Korea. Beginning this year, the plant is producing women’s high-heeled shoes and long boots in particular, the paper said.

And of course, they conclude with some commonsense advice for the Northern regime, courtesy of Sejong Institute researcher Song Dae Sung:

“If North Korea had bought rice or corn with the money it has spent preparing for Kim’s birthday, it could have solved much of its food shortage problem for its citizens.”

I believe the Yiddish word “chutzpah” is the only word that can possibly come close to capturing the absolute inanity of a bankrupt country producing high-heeled shoes with aid money while the citizens are about to face one of the worst famines in years. Perhaps predictions of the coming collapse of North Korea aren’t as far off as they seem.


Written by nkmonitor

February 5, 2008 at 12:44 am

Posted in Inside North Korea

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