International man of mystery Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack Saturday while traveling in his armored train. His passing brings an end to his 17 year reign -- one that featured extreme cruelty, bizarre propaganda and a severe oppression of the people of North Korea. Let's all take a moment to look back at his career, he did invent the hamburger after all.
Kim Jong-Il's greatness began at birth. North Korea literature reports that he was born in a cabin on the sacred mountain Mount Paekdu. His entrance to the natural world was marked by double rainbows as the sky lit up with the glow of one single star. The seasons instantaneously changed from winter to spring and it was clear that a supernatural being had been brought into our midst. Unless of course you go by the Western account of his birth, which claims he was born in Siberia during his father's exile. But that seems a little out there, no?
His father, Kim Il-Sung, led the communist nation from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. Kim Jong-Il was then brought into power, marking the first time a dictatorship was ever inherited. He was thoroughly prepped for the job -- it is rumored that his father was gravely ill for the last few years of his rule and Jong-Il was quietly calling the shots. A study
of history's three major dictators, Hitler, Hussein and Kim Jong-Il, has shown that they often suffer in markedly similar ways from mental disorder. The big three share all six of these defining traits: sadistic, antisocial, paranoid, narcissistic, schizoid, and scizotypal. In particular, the schizoid piece refers to grandiose delusions -- of which Kim Jong-Il gladly endured. The propaganda that surrounded him in North Korea made him out to be a god among men. He was a master of social manipulation though behind closed doors he was insecure, delusional and had a severe case of OCD. Starting with his supernatural qualities, Kim Jong-Il was presented to the people as much more than just their ruler.
[caption id="attachment_5381" align="aligncenter" width="3057" caption="Kim Il-Sung"]
If you've seen one photo of him, you've seen them all. Kim Jong-Il wore, day in and day out, khaki tunics and matching pants along with 4 inch platforms and oversized sunglasses. In 2010, an article
in the communist newspaper Rodong Sinmun explains that his look has taken the global fashion landscape by storm. The article's source is an unidentified French fashion expert, who is quoted as saying, "Kim Jong-Il mode which is now spreading expeditiously worldwide is something unprecedented in the world's history." Why you might ask is this khaki pantsuit so incredibly popular? "The reason is that the august image of the Great General, who is always wearing the modest suit while working, leaves a deep impression on people's mind in the world...To sum it up, [it] is because his image as a great man is so outstanding."
Loved the World Round
His birthday may be a national holiday in North Korea, but the celebration seems to end there. Unless you ask a North Korean citizen. It is reported that
, "according to state-run media, Kim Jong-Il is the most prominent statesman in the present world, and people in countries the whole planet over celebrate his birthday with films and festivals."
Best Golfer EVER
In 1994 the city of Pyongyang celebrated its first golf course and offered Generalissimo the chance to play the first round, which was also the first golf game he ever played. The first time Kim Jong-Il ever pick up a golf club he scored 38 under par on a regulation 18 hole course. Reports vary, with some saying he scored 5 holes in one, others saying 11.
Media in the city reported
the feat, which was then confirmed by all 17 of his bodyguards. This puts him light years ahead of the best golfers in the West -- lucky for them, he has since given up the sport.
American influences are entirely banned in the small communist country. Thankfully, they were lucky enough to have such an inventive leader. In 2000, in an effort to provide university students with cheap quality food, Kim Jong-Il invented "Gogigyeopbbang" which is described as double bread with meat. This is in no way similar to the hamburger of the West. Also, since food is scarce in N.K., the origin of the meat is a bit sketchy, with most attributing it to rats.
It doesn't end there! In 2006 he was at it again and came so close to solving the famine problems of his country. He purchased 12 large rabbits (about the size of a German Shepherd) from a breeder and began developing plans to build breeding farms. Unfortunately these plans never left the paper as it is rumored
that all 12 of the giant creatures were consumed at Kim's birthday party.
In the 1990s Hennessy confirmed
that Kim Jong-Il was in fact their biggest customer. On an average year he spent anywhere from $600,000 to $850,000 on the premium liquor. A bottle of the Paradis cognac can retail for around $700, about $300 less than the average annual income of a North Korean!
Lover of Water Slides
The dictator has gone above and beyond to hide his lavish lifestyle from the public. They must believe that their leader was a thrifty, hard working, country loving man -- not an over the top luxury good addicted liar. That is why his 17 mansions throughout the state are locked up tight. However, with the advances of Google Earth it is reported
that some crafty internet users were able to get a glimpse at one of his homes. The gorgeous estate featured a large pool and a fantastic network of water slides. If only we could have gotten an invite to that pool party.
Hater of Short People
In 1989 to prepare the city of Pyongyang for the World Festival of Youth and Students Kim removed all of the disabled people from the city and relocated them to uninhabited islands. He also gave the go ahead to release pamphlets advertising a wonder drug that would give short people a few extra inches. Anyone who responded to the ads were immediately captured and placed on the uninhabited islands the disabled were taken to. It is reported
that all of this was done in order to protect the future generations from their subpar genes. Kim Jong-Il is 5'3 by the way.
[caption id="attachment_5384" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Kim Jong-Il frequently sports 4 inch platform shoes"]
It is rumored that Kim owns some 20,000 DVDs -- mostly American blockbusters and Japanese creature features. In order to kickstart North Korea's film industry he had South Korea's most famous director and his wife kidnapped, smuggled to North Korea and imprisoned for five years. Their release was contingent on the director making communist propaganda Godzilla rip offs, the most famous of which being Pulgasori.
[caption id="attachment_5385" align="aligncenter" width="541" caption="Pulgasori"]
And these are just a few of the "facts" you can find about Kim. You have to give him credit though, it's not easy to live up to this sort of all encompassing propaganda. And clearly he did a decent job given the amount of hysterical citizens who have taken to the streets with their grief.
The news of his demise was met with reports given by teary eyed news anchors and has left the rest of the world wondering what will happen to the country. Kim Jong-Il's youngest son is set to take over, but the country is still left in unstable circumstances. Hopefully this will mark the end of terror and oppression in North Korea, and we can only cross our fingers that the new leader is a bit more level headed. But for now, here's to you Lil Kim.
And check out this Tumblr in his honor: Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things