Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Coronation in Communist North Korea

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What is the political ideology that governs the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea? Communism, its government proclaims. Communism, on paper, rejects dynastic rule. The party may govern the state and the state may be given almost unlimited power over the lives of its citizens (or, rather, subjects), but those who rise to high positions in government or party jobs earned that honor by slavish devotion to the Communist Party — or so the story goes.

Actually, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is indistinguishable from a brutal oriental dynasty. The misery in the vast concentration camp north of the 38th Parallel makes this “Workers’ Paradise” as close to a “Workers’ Hell” as any place on Earth. Despite being the resource-rich and industrial half of the Korean Peninsula at the time of partition, the Republic of Korea — South Korea — is immeasurably more affluent than North Korea today, sixty years after the Korean War began.

The lie of Communism which purports to make all workers common brothers is also a cruel joke in North Korea. Kim Il-Sung, the “Great Leader,” reigned over North Korea as the most absolute tyrant imaginable. The calendar was recalibrated to have the year begin on his birthday. The “Great Leader” also prepared for a successor — his son.

Kim Jong-Il, effectively the Crown Prince of North Korea (although his long list of titles included only party and government posts) has reigned over his unhappy kingdom since 1994.  Who will succeed Kim Jong-Il when he dies (Communist leaders invariably hold office for life)? An “election” in March suggests that Kim Jong-Il’s son, Kim Jong-un, will succeed his father. The electoral district from which Kim Jong-un was elected is District 216, which is a number signifying the birthday of Kim Jong-IL. The son has also been named to the powerful National Defense Commission. A meeting scheduled in September to elect a new leadership of the Communist Party appears to be intended to confirm Kim Jong-un as the successor of Kim Jong-Il.

Perhaps more importantly, the cult of personality around this third generation Communist leader has already begun. Songs which celebrate Kim Jong-un are entering the life of North Korea, indicating that the subjects of North Korea are learning how to relate Kim Jong-un in the pantheon of Communist demigods. The birthday of Kim Jong-un has recently been declared a national holiday. National Intelligence Chief Won Sei-hoon has begun a campaign designed to make the North Korean subjects worship Kim Jong-un. Poems are being dedicated to him as well.

If there was ever evidence needed that Communism is a crude fraud, the dynasty of North Korea should make that case very clear. Kim Jong-un, who has done nothing except be the favorite son of Kim Jong-Il, is about to be declared Crown Prince of this Marxist utopia, just like his father before him. 

Photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il gestures as he visits Taedonggang Combined Fruit Farm in Pyongyang, North Korea: AP Images