Monday, 19 December 2011

Kim Jong-Il

Earlier today I heard that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack while on a train in Pyongyang. This freaked me out slightly as on the metro ride in I had been reading an article about how you can go on a holiday tour of North Korea for about £600. At first I thought it was a wind up but after doing some online searching it turned out to be true.
The various news sites that I checked seemed to show numerous pictures of weeping North Koreans who seem to not know what to do now that they are bereft of leader. The general Linkconclusion seemed to be that this event was both worrying (What will the successor decide to do with the country?) and exciting (Could the new leader transform the country and address issues such as human rights, famine etc?) The scenes of grief in North Korea seem to mirror those of Soviet Russia in 1953 after Stalin died. It would seem that total reliance on one person to hold a country together is not a great idea, not that there needed to be any real proof.
After hearing that Kim Jong-Il had died I decided to do some research into him. I felt it was a good idea before writing this post as the only two things I knew about him was that he seemed to like to look at things and that in the film Team America he sang about how he was 'so ronery'. Turns out that he was married 5 times, amended the North Korean constitution so that he had to be referred to as 'Dear Leader', 'Our Father', 'the General' or 'supreme Generalissimo', when he was born his birth was foretold by a swallow and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow, and that he is rumoured to have been able to control the weather depending on his mood.
As of yet no successor has been announced but it's likely that it'll be one of Kim Jong-Il's sons. It's unlikely to be Kim Jong-Nam after he was caught travelling on a forged passport while on a trip to see Disney Land in Japan. The current favourite is his youngest son Kim Jong-Un who has apparently been being groomed for the role for the past few years. Let's hope that some of that 'grooming' fell on deaf ears and that the situation in North Korea can be changed for the better.

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