During my summer on the farm in China, I lived about as close to North Korea as one can while not actually living in North Korea. Because of this, I came home with a love of bulgogi, the bragging point of having eaten dog, a collection of Korean stamps, and two issues of the North Korean English-language propaganda newspaper, the Pyongyang Times – it’s like The Onion, only the writers think it’s for real.
These papers whetted my appetite, and then I discovered the Korean Central News Agency, where they spew this stuff every day for the reading pleasure of the internet world. I used to check it occasionally for laughs – but you have to be careful because too much propaganda will turn your brain to mush.
So it had been a while since I had read up on the doings of the Dear Leader in the words of his very own propaganda machine. But as soon as I heard the news of his death on Sunday, I immediately headed to the website and began clicking refresh. Unfortunately, until today, they were still printing news of “National Meeting Marks 50th Anniversary of New System of Agricultural Guidance” and “S. Korean Dictatorial Regime Riddled with Corruption”, so I had to do with the American sources. Luckily, they still had some gems; it’s easy to have a good time when you’re writing about the Kim personality cult:
Mr. Kim is believed to have been born in Siberia in 1941, when his father, Kim Il-sung, was in exile in the Soviet Union. But in North Korea’s official accounts, he was born in 1942, in a cabin, Abe Lincoln-like. The cabin was in a secret camp of anti-Japanese guerrillas his father commanded on Mount Paektu, a holy piece of land in Korean mythology. The event, the official Korean Central News Agency would often say, was accompanied by the appearance of a bright star in the sky and a double-rainbow that touched the earth.
But today they finally posted news of Kim Jong-il’s update. Here, culled for you from among articles such as “Idea and Exploits of Kim Jong Il Are Immortal” and “Korean People Fully Determined to Win Final Victory under Leadership of Kim Jong Un”, are the highlights of the coverage:
of Kim Jong Il’s Demise
Leader Kim Jong Il … suffered an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock, on train on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) for a great mental and physical strain caused by his uninterrupted field guidance tour for the building of a thriving nation.
Every possible first-aid measure was taken immediately but he passed away at 08:30 on December 17.
An autopsy on December 18 fully confirmed the diagnosis of his diseases.
Notice to All Party Members, Servicepersons and People
Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army . . . genius of the revolution and construction . . . supreme incarnation of the revolutionary moral obligation . . . great master of politics and illustrious commander born of Heaven . . . father of the nation and lodestar of national reunification . . . great guardian of socialism and justice . . . great revolutionary who covered an untrodden thorny path with his iron will and superhuman energy . . . peerless patriot.
The heart of Kim Jong Il stopped beating, but his noble and august name and benevolent image will always be remembered by our army and people and his glorious history of revolutionary activities and undying feats will remain shining in the history of the country forever.
Journeys to Mix with People
Will Go on Forever
The whole country was shocked to hear the news that leader Kim Jong Il passed away of a sudden disease on train while making his indefatigable efforts for the prosperity of the country and its people’s happiness.
The sad news of the loss of the father of the nation was so unbelievable for the Korean people that they call his name again and again in chocking voices.
Considering it as his maxim to believe in the people as in Heaven, he worked heart and soul day and night, without having any good rest, prompted by his desire to enable the Korean people to become the most dignified happy people in the world. He did just the way the President did as he always traveled a lot to mix with the people.
Visiting every corner and nook, remote mountainous villages or isolated islets where people live, he unraveled their knotty problems with his loving care as their real father would do.
Having a short and uncomfortable sleep and taking a rice ball as his meal, he made ceaseless efforts to bring the day of prosperity when the people will have no more to desire in the world.
Pyongyangites Call Kim Jong Il
in Chocking Voices
"General, don’t go!"
"General has not passed away."
"General, our father!"
These are the voices of grief heard from among all Pyongyangites, young and old, men and women, at the sad news of demise of leader Kim Jong Il which came like a bolt from the blue.
The … mosaics depicting Kim Jong Il are visited by an endless crowd of citizens.
They are shedding bitter tears, their knees on the ground, as they courageously weathered out stern adversities, trusting him only and holding him in high esteem as the sun of destiny and father.
They are getting the paved stones drenched with tears, feeling so regrettable as they can no longer see him whose smile was as broad as sunshine.
Korean People Stay up All Night, Deeply Grieved over Kim Jong Il’s Demise
An endless stream of soldiers, working people and school youth and students visited the statues of President Kim Il Sung and mosaics depicting the peerlessly great persons to express their bitter grief though it was past 12 at night.
They are weeping bitterly out of self-reproach and regret that they failed to keep Kim Jong Il in good health despite the behests of the President.
Korean People Stricken
with Bitter Grief
Anti-Japanese revolutionary fighter Hwang Sun Hui, who came by a tricycle, grieved over the demise of Kim Jong Il, her knees on the stone stairway. . .
Former unconverted long-term prisoners, too, could not stand to their feet, grieving over his demise before the mosaic at the Mansudae Art Studio.