Archive for the ‘Totalitarian Slave State of Norf Korea’ category

On Missiles and Depravity…

July 6, 2006

After a week of conjecture – Will they? Won’t they? Are those little satellite specks even missiles? If so, is that speck the dreaded intercontinental Taepodong? – the North Koreans apparently test fired at least six missiles over the Sea of Japan on Wednesday morning. One of those missiles was indeed a Taepodong, an intercontinental missile that threatens American soil. After weeks of international warnings not to launch the missile tests, the North Korean decision to go ahead with the launches – apparently timed to coincide with the fourth of July holiday – demonstrates just how impervious the North Korean regime remains to outside pressure.

It would seem that the only scrap of good news is that the Taepodong malfunctioned after 42 seconds of flight.

Within hours of the launches the debate was full-on about how to respond and what the event means. These are very important considerations. And there are only a host of bad choices when it comes to dealing with North Korea. Kim Jong Il’s two largest benefactors, South Korea and China, fear destabilizing the sclerotic Stalinist regime and are wary of taking any aggressive measures that could hasten such a chaotic event. But from Washington’s perspective there are a number of pressing concerns. To name but one, the Wall Street Journal reports today (subscription only link) that Pyongyang has been deepening its ties with Tehran, a relationship built upon the export of North Korean missile technology to the Iranians.

And yet, amidst the evident precariousness, it occurred to me while wading through the stream of punditry, accusation, and analysis that there may in fact be a positive consequence to North Korea’s belligerence. It has focused a fresh light of scrutiny on just how unbelievably vile and depraved the regime in Pyongyang really is. It remains one of, if not the, most repressive governments in the world. It is a state run on a cult of personality.

And I can’t think about Kim Jong Il without recalling a piece from The Atlantic that ran a few years ago. It was a translation of excerpts from a book authored under the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto. Mr. Fujimoto was a well-regarded Japanese sushi chef who, by certain twists of fate and ambition, found himself Kim Jong Il’s personal chef from 1988 until 2001. The Atlantic excerpt of Fujimoto’s memoir focuses on Kim’s infamous “Entourage of Delight” – a group of entertainers devoted to satisfying the whims of the Dear Leader. (more…)