North Korean ruler Kim Jong-ill died on Dec. 17, 2012. Kim had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for a few years, so no one was surprised about the news.
He inherited the Hermit Kingdom as it is today from his powerful father, Kim Il-Sung, who, with the help of Russians, established the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948 and ruled it until his death in 1994.
More than 500 statues of Kim Il-Sung stand throughout the nation and his name appears on many important buildings — Kim Il-Sung University, on the Arc de Triumph of Pyongyang built to honor and glorify Kim Il-Sung’s resistance against Japanese rulers of Korea and on Kim Il-Sung lapel pins, which every citizen must wear on national holidays, including the two Kims’ birthdays, Kim Il-sung’s and his son’s.
I won’t be surprised at all if Kim Jong-Il’s name appears on women’s cosmetic jars, wine bottles and caviar containers, because he had been a womanizer, heavy wine drinker and caviar lover.
There are two theories surrounding Kim Jong-Il’s birth year.
Soviet records show that he was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, on Feb. 16, 1941, where his father commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade. But his official biography indicates that he was born in the following year, on the Korean side of the Korean-Russian border, on the same date.
I vote for the Soviet record. The senior Kim had fled to Russia in the early days of Japanese occupation of Korea (1905-1945) at age 18, along with other Korean activists, and joined the Russian army. While there, he met his first wife, a member of the Young Communist League of Korea. It’s possible that Jong-Il was born before the couple was legally married, and when they returned to their homeland a year later, they had a formal wedding and registered their son at the same time. This means that Kim Jong-Il was 70 years old when he died, not 69.
Like his father, Kim Jong-Il was worshipped as a deity by the North Koreans, who called the senior Kim “Great Leader” and the son “Dear Leader.”
In April 2003, Dear Leader boasted for the first time that North Korea possessed nuclear weapons. Reports in April 2009 confirmed Dear Leader’s statement that North Korea indeed had become a full-fledged nuclear power. And on May 25, 2009, North Korea conducted its second nuclear test, making the rest of the world, especially its southern neighbors, fearful of what Dear Leader might do next.
The world then regarded him as a child playing with a loaded rifle.
Dear Leader’s sushi-chef, a Japanese man, however, revealed another side of Kim Jong-Il: Dear Leader dearly loved the taste of caviar from Iran and Uzbekistan, pork from Denmark, Chinese grapes and Thai mangoes and papayas. Dear Leader also loved to squander on his clothes, too, although he wasn’t material for a beauty pageant. He wore suits custom-tailored out of cashmere and silk blends produced by Scabal of London that costs $300 a yard (four yards were all he needed), favored shoes made by the Italian cobbler Moreschi and rode only Mercedes-Benz limousines.
And he had a dozen luxurious mansions across the nation, while some of his people were homeless and starving.
Why not? Wasn’t he the king of his own realm whose subjects could squeeze tears on demand and dance like puppets tied to strings to please their deity?
Yet Dear Leader didn’t choose his own time or place to die, nor could he prolong a single day of his dear life. He perished like a gypsy, on a moving train, away from his luxurious home in Pyongyang and the women he adored.
Dear fellow Americans, it’s time to count your blessings. You don’t have to bow down before your beloved president, nor wear Barack Obama lapel pins on his birthday! And your children don’t have to learn about Obama’s younger days as a civil rights attorney or an Illinois senator, or sing Dear Father Obama hymns at school.
God bless America!