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December 18, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Kim Jong Il is dead.
posted by meows (440 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
: )
posted by spitbull at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


King Jong the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead!
posted by gwint at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


:)
posted by Jimbob at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011


o
posted by Flashman at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011


The king is dead. Long live the king military junta backed figurehead.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


cripes. I guess they got the troops out of Iraq just in time.
posted by GuyZero at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


How is Condi taking it?
posted by bondcliff at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [30 favorites]


2011 had to pack a few more surprises in during the final stretch, I suppose. What a crazy year.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2011 [72 favorites]


Sic semper tyrannis.
posted by grouse at 7:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


It's times like these I wish I believed in hell.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


:)

Except I fear something even worse might happen now.
posted by vogon_poet at 7:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I bet he had a lot of fans.
posted by mediated self at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wone-wee ... I'm so wone-wee ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


I think I just got my dead dictators mixed up.
posted by bondcliff at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


What, just now? When was he last seen alive?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nature abhors a vacuum and politics more so. Don't count your chickens until you know that the replacement isn't worse.
posted by tim_in_oz at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [21 favorites]


Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il.

Is this the year that all those deals with the devil expired or something?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [149 favorites]


Wow. I thought that spiteful little man would hand on for a least another two decades.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2011


Tags: dead.

Well, that's useful metadata!
posted by kdar at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


The BBC re-reports "he had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work". I suppose this was to be expected.
posted by Metro Gnome at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011


Only if Assad catches a bullet soon.
posted by spitbull at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dont, as a mater of policy, root for or cheer people dying but this could turn out for the best.
posted by shothotbot at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


So this means he *actually* died 6 months ago, no?
posted by kickingthecrap at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hope that years from now I can remember this moment as a that-was-the-end-of-the-last-of-his-kind moment.
posted by ook at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I didn't always agree with Kim Jon Il, but you can't deny he made history. Let's not make today about politics.
posted by gerryblog at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [62 favorites]


hamburger
posted by gerryblog at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Obama ain't messin' around.
posted by horsewithnoname at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [21 favorites]


Sic semper tyrannis.

He died in his bed, not exactly a Ford's Theatre moment.
posted by Jehan at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm sorry Hitch went first. He would have enjoyed eulogizing the freak.
posted by spitbull at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [40 favorites]


Oh dear, there is going to be wailing in Pyongyang.
posted by Spatch at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2011


> but this could turn out for the best.

I dunno, his son seems to be eager to carry on the tradition, and there's an entrenched inner circle in the DPRK that no doubt wants to keep living the good life. It's kind of difficult to predict what's going to happen just yet.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sic semper tyrannis.

Sic semper everyone, actually.
posted by Trurl at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [79 favorites]


I wonder what evil, psychopathic toady will take over from him.
posted by Dasein at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?
posted by found missing at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


There are a lot of entrenched interests still probably running things in Pyongyang, but as shothotbot said, this is a very hopeful turn of events for the horribly downtrodden North Korean people.
posted by chimaera at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this means he *actually* died 6 months ago, no?

Read my mind.
posted by contessa at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um. Yeah, the opportunity for things to become dramatically worse is pretty large. North Korea shelled a South Korean island and torpedoed a South Korean warship just to show Kim Jong-Nam was "tough enough" to take over. If a smooth path to power was already paved, they wouldn't have needed to risk war to prove it. A civil war, or worse, a civil war that spills over into open war with the South, is a very strong possibility.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


Odious little shit-ball, but I'm not happy about the idea of a leaderless country with nuclear weapons.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry Hitch went first. He would have enjoyed eulogizing the freak.

you just offended a lot of freaks i think
posted by vogon_poet at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


BE RESPECTFUL, FUUUUUCK!
posted by basicchannel at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

Kim Jong Il died.
posted by spitbull at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [144 favorites]


It's times like these when I wish that North Koreans had free speech and internet access so that we could actually see how they're handling it. But then, if they had free speech and internet access, maybe they wouldn't have fallen victim to the world's largest personality cult.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

There's a 'murderous, sociopathic dictator' exemption.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [41 favorites]


I hope that years from now I can remember this moment as a that-was-the-end-of-the-last-of-his-kind moment.


He's been the worst, but Mugabe, Lukashenko, Putin - there are enough dictators left to go around.
posted by Dasein at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


found missing: "Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?"

If MeFi land, only some people are human.
posted by klanawa at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

Since when do we have a rule of no negative comments in obit threads? It certainly wasn't in place when Tim Russert died.
posted by John Cohen at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


happy early festivus north korea.
posted by triceryclops at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Bugle strikes again!
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [28 favorites]


This news made me look up the MadTv parodies of Kim Jong Il (played by Bobby Lee)
posted by littlesq at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

Is there such a rule?
posted by grouse at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry Hitch went first. He would have enjoyed eulogizing the freak.

I had the same thought, and will have similar thoughts for a number of people I can think of.
posted by Dasein at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


:o
posted by subbes at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2011


Don't know if it's better or worse that Kim Jong-un is likely incompetent as all get-out.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:29 PM on December 18, 2011


Since when do we have a rule of no negative comments in obit threads? It certainly wasn't in place when Tim Russert died.

Things have changed in Mefi land.
posted by found missing at 7:29 PM on December 18, 2011


He lived a world away from mine.

.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:29 PM on December 18, 2011


.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:30 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So some reports say he died of "fatigue." I wonder if he was helped along.
posted by mecran01 at 7:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It takes a lot for me to yell "WHOA!" and that did it.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this means he *actually* died 6 months ago, no?

The last of Kim Jong Il's body doubles has died.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


Is the assumption here that his zany son is going to be an improvement?
posted by found missing at 7:32 PM on December 18, 2011


Now it is we who are so ronery. So ronery and sadry arone.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:32 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


I didn't always agree with Kim Jon Il, but you can't deny he made history. Let's not make today about politics.

Ha, please tell about the few times you *did* agree with him. The guy was a ruthless bastard, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:33 PM on December 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


Paging stavwonderchicken- are they partying in your area?
posted by vrakatar at 7:33 PM on December 18, 2011


Kim Jong Il? More like Kim Jong Dead amirite?
posted by zeoslap at 7:33 PM on December 18, 2011 [31 favorites]


KokoRyu, he was joking.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is the assumption here that his zany son is going to be an improvement?

No, that's why you see comments like, "I fear something even worse might happen now." We can still take a moment to celebrate this.
posted by John Cohen at 7:34 PM on December 18, 2011


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

There's no such rule. There's a "Don't be an asshole when other people are trying to have a respectful discussion about a topic" general thing, and we've discussed how this affects obituary posts specifically which we've expanded on numerous times--several times a year at least for the past few years--in MetaTalk. We'd be happy to talk to you or anyone more about it there or over email.
posted by jessamyn at 7:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by lester at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, Kim Jong-Un, did you do your homework? Now's the moment of truth. Are you going to hold on to this, or are some generals gonna wrest it all away from you?
posted by ignignokt at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goddammit, I had barely started coming to terms with Kim Il-sung's passing, and now this...
posted by facetious at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


KokoRyu, he was joking.

Ah, whoops. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the North Koreans arranged things just to wreck New Years celebrations in Japan.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2011


Top 10 Crazy Facts about Kim Jong Il
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Dear Leader has gone to the Great Factory Inspection Tour in the sky.
posted by Jehan at 7:36 PM on December 18, 2011 [38 favorites]


After watching Tebow lose, he lost the will to live.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:36 PM on December 18, 2011 [20 favorites]


I bet it's going to be a hell of a funeral.
posted by d1rge at 7:36 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


After watching Tebow lose, the long torture of the NBA Lockout, he lost the will to live.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there any word on who is ultimately the successor? If there is a power struggle, this could be bad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:37 PM on December 18, 2011


But he didn't LOOK ill, just Il (I can't believe I'm the first to make this joke, or are the mods deleting like crazy?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rusell Hoban was way the fuck better, fuck this fucking fussbudget and his Johnny-Come-Lately death
posted by JingleButt_HiRes_REAL.gif at 7:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


S. Korean military is on full alert and the KOSPI (Korea Composite Stock Price Index) has tumbled at news of Kim's passing.
posted by needled at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


well he had been il for some time
posted by Greener Backyards at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


In honour of the occasion, it's time to pull out - Cunnilingus In North Korea [NSFW, Flash and Epilepsy Alert] from an old MetaFilter thread.
posted by unliteral at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2011 [21 favorites]


I hope this will be enough of a jolt for North Koreans to want a modern life and political freedoms, but to think this will end well requires much more optimism than I can muster.

Any civil war will certainly spill over into neighboring countries. I give the country two weeks before serious destabilization begins.
posted by Shit Parade at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2011


This is a time I *really* hope the CIA is on top of their game.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I didn't even know he was Kim Jong Sick.
posted by joinks at 7:39 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Word has it that Chang Sun-taek will take over while Kim Jong-un is prepared for office. Let's hope whoever take it over realizes what the world can offer the person who elevates the DPRK out of the absolute nadir of civilization wherein it currently resides.
posted by griphus at 7:39 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there any word on who is ultimately the successor? If there is a power struggle, this could be bad.

State TV announced that Kim Jong Eun will take over as leader of North Korea.
posted by Jimbob at 7:39 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


damn you oneswellfoop
posted by Greener Backyards at 7:40 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interesting timing in terms of my recent reading. Just finished James Church's Man with the Baltic Stare, which dealt with North Koreans making plans for post Kim Jong-il life, and the Chinese and South Koreans making plans to feast on the corpse of the nation. My initial shallow thought is a small hope Church will bring a retired Inspector O back for the aftermath.

The intended successor is fairly young and untested. Will be interesting to see if he'll be a figurehead, an actual leader, or pushed aside for the more entrenched powers.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:40 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would love to know what is going on in North Korea right now. Or as some of you pointed out, possibly months ago. When did it actually happen? This isn't exactly news they would want to be released.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 7:40 PM on December 18, 2011


In his defense, he had pretty awesome hair.

It was probably periodically harvested for transplantation from some of his even-unluckier subjects via the most painful and degrading method possible, but still, pretty awesome hair.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:41 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


2011: Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-Il
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:41 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


According to South Korean news, North Korean media are announcing there will be a special broadcast on the 19th at noon Korean time.
posted by needled at 7:43 PM on December 18, 2011


In his defense, he had pretty awesome hair.

And a lot of titles.
posted by John Cohen at 7:43 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


> "he had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work"

All that looking at things takes its toll.
posted by ardgedee at 7:44 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


KOSPI index, for anyone watching. It took a sizable hit but seems to be rebounding. I'm guessing there was a sell off of defense holdings and anything else that relied on tensions with the DPRK.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2011


☑ Kim Jong Il ☑ Khaddafi ☑ Osama Bin Laden ☑ Saddam Hussein ☐ Internet Explorer
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2011 [48 favorites]


.
posted by rebent at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2011


this would be a great time for that fake MLK Jr. quote to start circulating again....
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Needled, it's currently 12:44 pm on 12/19 in Pyongyang. The special broadcast was the announcement of Kim's death.
posted by decathecting at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The world has lost a terrible despot. And the world's greatest golfer.
posted by birdherder at 7:47 PM on December 18, 2011 [18 favorites]


According to South Korean news, North Korean media are announcing there will be a special broadcast on the 19th at noon Korean time.

That would have been 46 minutes ago. Perhaps that's how the rest of the world knows?
posted by BecauseIHadFiveDollars at 7:47 PM on December 18, 2011


It's as if a million voices cried out in terror, and then realized Kim Jong-Il was dead, so they cheered up. Then they remembered they were still in North Korea, and the wailing started anew.

Seriously, things are about to get weirder over there, and probably not in a "gallons of cognac and kidnapped film directors" kind of way.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:47 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


To quote the late Christopher Hitchens, "I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to.”
posted by mek at 7:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


Kim Jong Il's dead? Bring on the funk.
posted by castlebravo at 7:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


>According to South Korean news, North Korean media are announcing there will be a special broadcast on the 19th at noon Korean time.

That would have been 46 minutes ago. Perhaps that's how the rest of the world knows?


Yeah, NORK state media reported he dieg about 45 minutes ago at noon local time. It was breaking news NHK (which I am watching as I work).
posted by KokuRyu at 7:49 PM on December 18, 2011


Funny that Tebow would get mentioned in this thread ...something something two worthless personality cults..


Sorry just trying to make a joke as turnover in North Korea scares the shit out of me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:49 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like he's taken Twitter with him
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:49 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


this would be a great time for that fake MLK Jr. quote to start circulating again....

You mean this one?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:49 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's possible that his death will lead to worse suffering. However, I see little reason to mourn the death of tyrants and god-king-emperors. Times like this call for banjo music.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:50 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


apparently the official DPRK govt line is that he died of physical and mental overwork. right.
posted by Bwithh at 7:50 PM on December 18, 2011


According to the BBC:
Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.
IIRC, Kim travelled by train because he was scared of flying.

He died on a train.

North Korean Alanis must be penning a verse right now.
posted by randomination at 7:51 PM on December 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh wait Twitter's back up now
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:51 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


*
posted by zanni at 7:52 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't even know he was Il.
posted by crossoverman at 7:53 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


> Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

Probably better generalized as a rule to read the room and express yourself carefully when making contrarian comments in heated threads, to avoid launching threadshits, derails and flamewars.

Opinions on the North Korean ruling dynasty here are going to be pretty uniform, so unless you've got some inexplicably positive sentiments to express regarding the DPRK's ruling dynasty you're going to be about as noncontroversial as is possible on Metafilter.
posted by ardgedee at 7:54 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


he had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work

Mr. Kim died from fatigue during a train ride on Saturday

Is this the best they can come up with? No vanquishing of anti-DPRK imperialists? No great victory for the motherland?
posted by pashdown at 7:54 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


ok everyone make an ill joke now go
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 PM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Mr. Kim died from fatigue during a train ride on Saturday

Should have taken a plane.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking at Naver and Nate news, and the reporting is very jumbled, probably reflects the local media's confusion at the situation.
posted by needled at 7:55 PM on December 18, 2011


apparently the official DPRK govt line is that he died of physical and mental overwork. right.

Unconfirmed reports from clandestine sources suggest that Mr. Kim had long had trouble tying his shoes. Back to you in the studio Jim...
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:56 PM on December 18, 2011


I hope that years from now I can remember this moment as a that-was-the-end-of-the-last-of-his-kind moment.

Sorry to quash your optimism, but I'd like to draw your attention to all of human history.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:56 PM on December 18, 2011 [42 favorites]


Here's Christopher Hitchens on North Korea, on video and in print.

The people of North Korea live in crushing poverty and existential terror whose enormity is almost unfathomable to those of us lucky enough to have been born into the free world. All I can think is that if I were a person who prayed, I would pray that the death of Kim Jong-Il can somehow help the people of North Korea to find freedom and peace.
posted by decathecting at 7:56 PM on December 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


Hey, what happened to the rule of no negative comments in obit threads?

It's Kim Jong-Il.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is such a weak thread. A single link that's really just a forum for people to come in and say how much they hated the guy. I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site.
posted by codacorolla at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


*
posted by jet_silver at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was... Inevitable.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


The government waited almost 30 hours to announce his death. Imagine that happening in any other country.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:59 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good riddance.
posted by jonmc at 8:00 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


No damn loss! This starts the week off with a :)

And we'll see what the Generals come up with. It'd be hard to imagine a regime worse for its people than the DPRK. This may be a situation where a 'coup-lite' actually improves things for the peasantry...
posted by JB71 at 8:00 PM on December 18, 2011


Is this the best they can come up with? No vanquishing of anti-DPRK imperialists? No great victory for the motherland?

DPRK media reports that the Great Leader died tragically rescuing his family from the wreckage of a sinking battleship.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:00 PM on December 18, 2011 [11 favorites]



he had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work

Mr. Kim died from fatigue during a train ride on Saturday


actually i'm pretty sure he died from exhaustion from actually pulling that train.
posted by lester at 8:00 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


To quote the late Christopher Hitchens, "I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to.”

The problem with sending Kim Jong Il to Hell is that Hell is better than North Korea.
posted by Flashman at 8:00 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't wait to see clips of the funeral -- 1 million gymnasts performing a perfectly-synchronized mourning dance or something like that.
posted by ladygypsy at 8:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I really have nothing to say so I guess I won't say anything.
posted by Sailormom at 8:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


According to North Korean state TV, not only did Kim Jong Imp check every item off his bucket list (finished a round of golf in 18 strokes, etc)..he also invented the bucket. Little known farce..

May the next Kim iteration die of natural *social* causes long before his biological death.
posted by obscurator at 8:01 PM on December 18, 2011


This is such a weak thread. A single link that's really just a forum for people to come in and say how much they hated the guy. I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site.

1) If any guy deserved to be just plain hated, this asshole qualifies by a solid margin.
2) We're not just talking about how much we hated him. We're also, like many other people, nervously discussing the fact that - as much as the status quo in North Korea is incredibly, almost incomprehensibly awful - this could easily be the catalyst for a war that could leave millions dead or, if we're lucky, the status quo might just stay basically the same under a new dictator. Scenarios that lead to actual improvement in North Koreans' quality of life in the short term are thin on the ground and far less likely than the scenarios that lead to equal or greater amounts of starvation and death.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [17 favorites]


As needled pointed out, South Koreans are generally not happy about this.

And I'm betting the Chinese are probably even less happy about it.

Kim Jong-il was bad, mkay, but he was also a relatively stabilizing figure. If some of the NK generals decide they've had enough of the Kim dynasty we could be looking at a coup d'etat within a bizarro country that happens to probably have nukes.
posted by bardic at 8:02 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


In North Korea, you must cry, wail and beat yourself for not being as good as Dear Leader, who worked so hard that he died for you. Jesus.
posted by stbalbach at 8:02 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


He may be dead, but his insults will live forever.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


And into the Unknown we go.

Get your laughs in while you can.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking that they have no actual nuclear weapons at this point.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2011


2) We're not just talking about how much we hated him. We're also, like many other people, nervously discussing the fact that - as much as the status quo in North Korea is incredibly, almost incomprehensibly awful - this could easily be the catalyst for a war that could leave millions dead or, if we're lucky, the status quo might just stay basically the same under a new dictator. Scenarios that lead to actual improvement in North Koreans' quality of life in the short term are thin on the ground and far less likely than the scenarios that lead to equal or greater amounts of starvation and death.

You see to be confusing this being an important event with the nature of the website. A single link to a news article is not a strong post. Although, since there's already so many replies, I'm sure that it will be kept. This sort of thing just seems like an attempt to be the first person to post a thread which will inevitably be a couple hundred replies long, and which serves no greater function than the front page of Google News. But, whatever, I'm not a moderator, so I'll just let everyone post their hilarious Team America quotes in peace.
posted by codacorolla at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


ok everyone make an ill joke now go

ahem... He died after a long il-ness.

it's true! he was il all his life!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2011


He died as he lived, looking at things.
posted by hellojed at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il.

Is this the year that all those deals with the devil expired or something?


We'll know for sure if the infernal powers charging Cheney's necro-heart finally sputter out.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2011 [47 favorites]


I lived (and am currently visiting for a few months) in a part of Japan that was notorious for "North Korean abductions) in the late 70s, 1980s, and early 90s. When I first started living on the Noto Peninsula in the mid-90s, people would warn me "don't get kidnapped!"

I had no idea what they were talking about, and thought it was just symptomatic of rural backwoods Japanese insularity or something.

However, about 10 years ago, the North Korean government admitted to abducting dozens and dozens of people along the Japan Sea Coast, and even repatriated a group of survivors, many of whom came from Obama, about an hour down the road from Tsuruga, where I have spent the most amount of time.

North Korean agents would land in small boats, and would just snatch people necking in cars, or out checking fishing nets or whatever. One abductee on Sado Island was taken as she was walking from school.

We rented a house in Tsuruga from a woman whose own husband disappeared 5 years previously (probably around 94). He was a ferry captain on the line between Tsuruga and Otaru, Hokkaido. One day in September, following a typhoon, he drove to the ferry docks to check out the state of the ferry, and never came back, and the family always assumed he had been taken by the NORKs.

Then, a few years later (after his wife had died of a sudden illness), his car was discovered in Tsuruga Bay, near the ferry jetty, with no trace of his body.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:06 PM on December 18, 2011 [46 favorites]


I just did a GIS for King Jong-Eun. By the looks of things, the successor to Jong-Eun will be a hard boiled egg with a hi-top fade.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:07 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


A single link to a news article is not a strong post. Although, since there's already so many replies, I'm sure that it will be kept. This sort of thing just seems like an attempt to be the first person to post a thread which will inevitably be a couple hundred replies long, and which serves no greater function than the front page of Google News.

In my opinion, it's better than a post quickly cobbled together with some Google searches and Wikipedia entries. Sometimes news happens, and we rely on the comments to flesh it out. No-one else seems unhappy about that state of affairs.
posted by Jimbob at 8:07 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Can someone please make a better post on this topic?
posted by mkultra at 8:08 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


We'll know for sure if the infernal powers charging Cheney's necro-heart finally sputter out.

Damn it, now you've gotten my hopes up.
posted by emjaybee at 8:08 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


No-one else seems unhappy about that state of affairs.

I wish people would make an effort to make better obit posts and remember that not everyone has seen Team America World Police.
posted by jessamyn at 8:11 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Can someone please make a better post on this topic?

Sorry guys, just trying to get the word out. I didn't think too deeply on the meaning of Metafilter before I posted. It seemed like important news, and at the time I could only find one article.
posted by meows at 8:12 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.

Given the stuff above regarding his many titles and his crazy propaganda, I really expected the announcement to go something like "Mr Kim fell from the back of his battle Tyrannosaur while defending the Earth from the oncoming hordes of space vipers. A star shining overhead heralds the passing of this global hero. World leaders across the globe have immolated themselves in tribute to the Son of Heaven. Ponies for all!"
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:13 PM on December 18, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm not sad he's dead, but I can't say I feel any kind of positive about the coming weeks. Some saber rattling is almost inevitable at this point, and while any sane person would see an attack on South Korea or Japan as sucidal, I'm pretty sure sanity isn't one of the renowned qualities inherent in the family.

Or, more simply put, I'm not so thrilled to be living within Taepodong range of N.K. at this point. Sure, nothing is likely to happen, but then again, we're not supposed to have 9.0 earthquake, giant tsunamis, nuclear crises, economic end-times, absurd flooding, and all the rest, all in the same year.

Would it be too much to ask that 2012 is a little quieter? A little more... subdued?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:13 PM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


KokuRyu, that's fascinating/insane. I'll have to tell my friends/colleagues who live down there.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:13 PM on December 18, 2011


> Sorry guys, just trying to get the word out.

You know it's on every single news site, right?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Damn 2012 will actually be the final year, won't it?
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:14 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Good riddance!
posted by dealing away at 8:15 PM on December 18, 2011


Can someone please make a better post on this topic?

...The boy who would become the Great Leader spent his childhood here, on the shores of the South China Sea...
posted by Flashman at 8:15 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sometimes news happens…

Metafilter is not a news site.
posted by Nomyte at 8:16 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


...............................................................

For the devout who will take their own lives over the next few days in Koolaidesque sympathy
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:16 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know if the people doing that stupid little "." thing in this thread are trying to be funny, but right now I can easily say I hate you people more than Kim Jong Il. Where's that damn Greasemonkey script...
posted by MattMangels at 8:16 PM on December 18, 2011


+
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:17 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by grouse at 8:17 PM on December 18, 2011


Can someone please make a better post on this topic?

It is with great sadness that the editors of kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com confirm, Kim Jong Il will look at things no more.
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:17 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


* (<-- Opposite of .)
posted by SansPoint at 8:18 PM on December 18, 2011


When Tebow loses, God kills a big-time atheist. This has been your final warning.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 PM on December 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Wait. Lil' Kim died?
posted by ColdChef at 8:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu, what a crazy story. The Guardian states that Kim Jong-Il told the Japanese Government that the 13 victims that North Korea acknowledged (there seems to be about 80 alleged victims) were kidnapped to teach Japanese to to North Korean spies. Insane.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


KokuRyu, that's fascinating/insane. I'll have to tell my friends/colleagues who live down there.

[FukuiFilter] Since I moved here in 94, the government has built a beautiful and extremely expensive road all along the coast from the Tsunekami Peninsula (the end of the Rainbow Line) to Obama, presumably as a way to facilitate coastal defense and inspection. I think about 10 years ago as well a boatload of Chinese migrants landed on the coast down here undetected.

Interestingly, when former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung was kidnapped in Tokyo, he was loaded onto a boat somewhere near Tsuruga to be taken back to South Korea by rightists (it's a fascinating story).

The Wakasa region is really the only stretch of coastline on the Japan Sea Coast with naturally protected coastline.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool, Nando's can add another verse!
posted by jeffburdges at 8:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Glad I'm not in Seoul anymore and hoping against the odds for a positive outcome here.
posted by GilloD at 8:23 PM on December 18, 2011


It seemed like important news, and at the time I could only find one article.

You could only find one link about Kim Jong II, North Korea (its past, present or future), South Korea or Asian politics?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:23 PM on December 18, 2011


The Guardian states that Kim Jong-Il told the Japanese Government that the 13 victims that North Korea acknowledged (there seems to be about 80 alleged victims) were kidnapped to teach Japanese to to North Korean spies. Insane.

It was really weird when the 5 folks were repatriated in 2002 (their children were left behind in North Korea as de facto hostages, but were later repatriated as well). Thet all had bad teeth, and they all wore little party pins, even when being interviewed on TV.

As far as I know, they still live in Obama and Niigata.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Cohen: "And a lot of titles."

Good lord. His business cards must have been gigantic.
posted by brundlefly at 8:26 PM on December 18, 2011


Fascinating comment KokuRyu. Curious then about Noto Peninsula, I googled Obama, Japan and came up with this, the "Japanese Obama".

Wonder what the hell the North Koreans abducted Japanese citizens for? On preview as spy language teachers. God, how horrible that must have been for the families of the disappeared. Should be an interesting film in there about this somewhere. Ah, at least this.

And as for Kim Jong Il, kekking. An early Christmas present for the planet, hopefully.
posted by nickyskye at 8:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Went to the Daily NK to see their reaction and found this:

U.S to resume aid to North as North suspends UEP [Uranium Enrichment Program]

The scheduled date for the US announcement is the 19th. Will be interesting to see if the US goes ahead as that might indicate they have a certain level of faith in the new leadership.

Another NK news site I like is 38 North, which features James Church with occasional columns as well as other analysts. This site is especially good for Inspector O fans, since Church will write dialogues with his creation about current affairs. I would expect a column from Church within a few days about the death.

Interesting that the official DPRK English news site isn't responding. The unofficial and older Japanese-hosted pro-DPRK English propaganda outlet is apparently overwhelmed.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:28 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Gloating is the most attractive human reaction.

.
posted by schwa at 8:29 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


License revoked!

Meh, it's a grower.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:31 PM on December 18, 2011


HEY GUYS HIS NAME SOUNDED LIKE "ILL" AND THEN HE GOT SICK AND DIED!
posted by item at 8:32 PM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


I hope those periods are for everyone who died as a result of Kim Jong Il's government-imposed famine.
posted by John Cohen at 8:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


A single link that's really just a forum for people to come in and say how much they hated the guy. I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site.

Is this concern trolling? The guy is — was — running death camps, ffs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [29 favorites]


Nicholas Kristof's reaction (on Facebook):
North Korea is by far the most repressive and totalitarian country I've ever visited; it makes Syria or Burma seem like democracies. In North Korea, homes have a speaker on the wall to wake people up with propaganda in the morning and put them to sleep with it at night. The handicapped are sometimes moved out of the capital so they won't give a bad impression to foreigners. And triplets, considered auspicious, are turned over to the state to raise. And now this nuclear armed country is being handed over to a new leader, presumably Kim Jong-un, still in his 20's. The last transition was a dangerous time, as Kim Jong Il tried to prove his mettle by challenging the world, and this one mayl be as well. Look out.
posted by John Cohen at 8:36 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


My first duty station was in South Korea, and I arrived there about two months after he took power. It was a really strange year:

When you arrive at the "Turtle Farm" in Seoul, there are mannequins dressed in North Korean officer uniforms with the banner "Welcome to the Republic of Korea, Meet Your Enemy." One of the hallways had (has?) a series of pictures of the Axe Murder Incident with captions.

I remember walking across post one night, coming back from the enlisted club, and seeing someone sprint across the street half a block away, out into a darkened baseball field, then a second later a bunch of MPs came flying around the corner after him. It turned out there was a "find the pretend North Korean spy" exercise, and the first person I'd seen was probably a member of the OPFOR.

CWO Bobby Hall got shot down that year, so my unit had a special unscheduled exercise where we all just rolled up to the hills and set up an FM net and waited around hoping nothing was going to happen.

My best friend at work, a KATUSA named Corporal Kim, underwent a really speedy transformation from amiable dude who drove me around the country on weekends to a fairly angry man whose last words to me were that he wanted the US the hell out of his country, whatever the price, me included.

It was a strange place to be for a year, resonant with a vibe I hadn't really considered would still be around when I enlisted because it was so Cold War during a time when most of the military stories we were hearing were about US attempts to go around fixing stuff up (for better or worse). It seemed like the one place left in the world where old-school US military ground force — armor, infantry and artillery — was poised for slaughter.

People were saying the same things in 1994 that we're saying now: Hoping some good will come out of this change, fearful that it will destabilize a country that doesn't even need nuclear weapons — or a traditional land invasion for that matter — to ruin South Korea.

Corporal Kim surely finished up college after he did his bit with the KATUSAs and is well into whatever it was he planned to do with his life. I wonder what he makes of the news.
posted by mph at 8:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [34 favorites]


Damn 2012 will actually be the final year, won't it?

Well, if nothing else we're learning all too clearly who lacks the cojones to fuck with the Mayans' program.
posted by gompa at 8:39 PM on December 18, 2011


?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:40 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


[It is at this point in the thread that we tell people to please go to MeTa where mods are standing by if you want to fight with other people about how they should handle obit posts or themselves in obit posts. Period. Full stop. Again.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:44 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're jumping because they're glad he's dead.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 PM on December 18, 2011


Jing, Jong, the Juche's dead.
posted by jeremy b at 8:46 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kim Jong-Il's death hasn't even made KCNA yet. Hunh.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:46 PM on December 18, 2011


The red telephone is ringing. Are you glad Mcain is not answering? I am.
posted by vrakatar at 8:46 PM on December 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


And somehow, Fidel Castro soldiers on....
posted by schmod at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


C.S. Lewis:
Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God's eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing, does some tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God's eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge.
posted by Trurl at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2011 [46 favorites]


Incoming!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2011


> Gloating is the most attractive human reaction.

Wtf? Kim Jong Il was a monster. Any jubilation he made his final exit is likely not gloating but relief. And maybe empathy for the people of North Korea, survivors of this despot (nicknamed Dr. Evil) with a nuke trigger finger.
posted by nickyskye at 8:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's a tough one, Koku. I am fully aware how scheming and morally tenuous this sounds, but dammit there's an election next year, and I really wish everyone on the far left would've kept quiet about these objections to the OBL execution. We can not not not not NOT let a Republican take the White House in 2012. I just see the hand-wringing about the execution of OBL and think "dammit why can't we be 1/100th as unified as the right when it comes to messaging". I guess it comes down to knowing when to pick your battles, and I don't think defending the execution of someone like bin Laden is a battle worth fighting.
posted by MattMangels at 8:48 PM on December 18, 2011


It was painful to watch people on the left like Chomsky go on about how it was wrong for the US to assassinate bin Laden.

Bin Laden was a murderous asshole, and I am glad he's dead. But I must strongly disagree with you that shooting an unarmed man will ever be the 'right' thing to do. It was nothing short of a summary execution. Irrespective of who he was, that is wrong.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [18 favorites]


Gloating is the most attractive human reaction.

Funny, I heard it was sanctimony.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:49 PM on December 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


> And somehow, Fidel Castro soldiers on....

He retired, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Serious question: how will his death affect U.S.-Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stanian relations?
posted by joe lisboa at 8:50 PM on December 18, 2011


And while I've got no love for Castro, he's not even close to the asshole that Kim was.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


I am fully aware how scheming and morally tenuous this sounds...

I'm not sure you are.
posted by Trurl at 8:53 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Irrespective of who he was, that is wrong.

One of my core philosophical principles is that two "wrongs" are perfectly capable of making a right. Imagine telling Rosa Parks, "Look Rosa, this law about where black people can sit on buses is wrong, but you can't just break the law and sit wherever you want! Two wrongs don't make a right!" I can see the value of teaching the phrase to children, but it should really be "two wrongs don't necessarily make a right".
posted by MattMangels at 8:54 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ha, please tell about the few times you *did* agree with him. The guy was a ruthless bastard, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

Well, he did love the Bond movies. I have to give him that one. They rock.


Also, love how the NYT elides so much in this simple line: And he was an object of parody in American culture.
posted by Naberius at 8:55 PM on December 18, 2011


TV sets are turned up to full blast all over the place. At lunch the coverage focused on two things:

1) The South Korea stock market is tanking due to uncertainty

2) 900 South Koreans working at the Kaesong inudstrial cooperative (joint N-S Korean factories) have not been heard from since Saturday

Also, CNN coverage is absolutely laughable. Al-jazeera is good, not surprisingly.
posted by bardic at 8:56 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


> And he was an object of parody in American culture.

I was just thinking that, at least outside DPRK, there is far more footage of parodies of him than actual video/film.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:58 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


but dammit there's an election next year, and I really wish everyone on the far left would've kept quiet about these objections to the OBL execution.

This is not a good reason to oppose assassinating people.

It sounds to me like you think the ends justify the means in terms of getting Democrats into office. But if we're assassinating people, supporting civil liberties violations to not appear soft on terror, and all these things just to get elected, how are we really any different than Republicans?

Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and Khaddafi were all horrible people who did horrible things like assassinate people without fair trials. They gloated over the deaths of their enemies. That is why we can criticize them. I consider myself a better person than them because I don't succumb to those dark base impulses.

Somebody horrible died, lets celebrate it by pushing to open up trade again and feed those humans across the world, not celebrate a death.
posted by formless at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


One of my core philosophical principles is that two "wrongs" are perfectly capable of making a right. Imagine telling Rosa Parks, "Look Rosa, this law about where black people can sit on buses is wrong, but you can't just break the law and sit wherever you want! Two wrongs don't make a right!"

This is a very poor analogy.
posted by Nomyte at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Err, to support assassinating people.
posted by formless at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2011


Imagine telling Rosa Parks, "Look Rosa, this law about where black people can sit on buses is wrong, but you can't just break the law and sit wherever you want! Two wrongs don't make a right!"
This is a ludicrous example. There is no comparison between an irrational discriminatory law and a summary execution carried out via an clandestine armed incursion into a friendly nations' territory.

In any case, for clarity, my point was that it is not logically inconsistent to be glad of a dictator's death but abhor the methods by which that death was effected.

Demanding that your political leaders be happy when their enemies are destroyed no matter the methods or costs, only ensures that you end up with barbarians for leaders.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, Kim Jong-un looks like he's 27 going on 15.
posted by bardic at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm sorry Hitch went first. He would have enjoyed eulogizing the freak.

What a heartbreaking truth. And yet Hitch would have savored the spectacle of death as an impersonal force that consumes not just himself, but also his enemies.
posted by stroke_count at 9:02 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Serious question: how will his death affect U.S.-Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stanian relations?

As an American, I have to say his death will probably be more have a large effect on neighboring countries, particularly South Korea, possibly China.

And while Kim Jong was a no question a bastard, he did successfully and repeatedly thumb his nose at the world, especially the U.S. He gets props for that.

Here's hoping the change to a new leader doesn't destabilize the region, but does open up North Korea, even if it's just a little bit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:02 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in Bundang, South Korea, and looking out my window I see business as usual. No wild parties. No bombs.

The Korean response that I have seen is that it's still North Korea, so nothing is actually over or even changed much. There is also fear of what will happen next from the instability. I'm not really saying anything that hasn't already been posted here.
posted by Knigel at 9:02 PM on December 18, 2011


Can we lay off the Rosa Parks analogies on MetaFilter? It kind of cheapens her accomplishments.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:03 PM on December 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Thanks formless, for making the point I was trying to make.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:06 PM on December 18, 2011


As an American, I have to say his death will probably be more have a large effect on neighboring countries, particularly South Korea, possibly China.

Yeah, I was engaging in some gallows humor. Or trying to. Wishing everyone in the region peace.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:09 PM on December 18, 2011


I really don't see the point in celebrating Kim Jong Il's death. I will celebrate when North Korea can feed it's population and the people are there leading happy, free lives.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:10 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is no comparison between an irrational discriminatory law and a summary execution carried out via an clandestine armed incursion into a friendly nations' territory

Yep, I'm done here.
posted by MattMangels at 9:10 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just watching some old footage of Kim Jong Il being welcomed by cheering and weeping crowds back in the day. What a fucking asshole.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:10 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


And while Kim Jong was a no question a bastard, he did successfully and repeatedly thumb his nose at the world, especially the U.S. He gets props for that.

I don't think anybody gets props for being a mass-murdering asshole.
posted by kmz at 9:12 PM on December 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


Dead? Oh, good. Glad to hear it. Good riddance.

Ha, please tell about the few times you *did* agree with him.

Not directed at me, but, umm, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. there must be something.

Thinking...

Thinking...

The traffic girls are sorta cute
posted by tyllwin at 9:12 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 12 Days of Mourning have started. Resumption of American food aid is rather timely since they can now get things started with a partridge in a pear tree.

Of course, the 12 days are backdated to the 17th, so all loyal citizens will be expected to mourn in the past as well as the present.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:14 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site.

Are you saying that we shouldn't speak Il of the dead?
posted by Knappster at 9:15 PM on December 18, 2011 [23 favorites]


So the first guy, Kim Il-Sung, was the centre of the personality cult. He "liberated" North Korea, and he serves as the all-father in their state religion.

Kim Jong-Il got his mojo from being the Great Leader's son. Born to rule and all that, like Christ or Apollo. Plenty of religious precedent there.

But now they want Kim Jong-Un to take over, the son of the son of the Great Leader. I don't know. That original Kim Il-Sung mojo is looking pretty diluted now we're into the third generation. Will people in a 21st century nation keep buying into the cult when it's origins are now so far into the past?
posted by Kevin Street at 9:16 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really don't see the point in celebrating Kim Jong Il's death. I will celebrate when North Korea can feed it's population and the people are there leading happy, free lives.

His death allows some kind of change to come to North Korea, that gives hope that the new leadership might more quickly lead to their people to some greater freedom/lesser oppression. Cautious hope for the future of some part of humanity is worth celebrating, maybe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:16 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is no comparison between an irrational discriminatory law and a summary execution carried out via an clandestine armed incursion into a friendly nations' territory

Yep, I'm done here.


Taking your ball and going home?

Pakistan is, formally and officially, an ally of the US (although, it must be said, not much of one). I'm afraid you shall have to deal with that. Even if it was not, it would not change the fact that OBL was assassinated.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:17 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who else here thought that they would use body doubles or otherwise claim him to be alive until the American government is forced to declare him dead after his official age reaches the oldest age ever recorded plus ten?
posted by BiggerJ at 9:18 PM on December 18, 2011


After much consideration, God decided it was time to get Il.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:18 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Will people in a 21st century nation keep buying into the cult when it's origins are now so far into the past?

That's not really the right way to look at it though.

1) Many - most, maybe, though North Korea's so hard to know anything about that we can't be sure - North Koreans don't buy into" anything, but are perfectly willing to go through the motions of cultish faith when the alternative is starvation, imprisonment, death for themselves and their families, and

2) To call North Korea a "21st century nation" is true only in its most literal calendar sense.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:18 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interestingly enough, South Korean prime minister Lee is in Japan today to talk about all sorts stuff (some of it uncomfortable), so I would imagine there is no coincidence the North Koreans decided to announce Kim's death today and create some much-needed confusion in both countries.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2011


Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and Khaddafi were all horrible people who did horrible things like assassinate people without fair trials. They gloated over the deaths of their enemies. That is why we can criticize them.

The reasons Kim Jong Il can be criticized are more like because allowed millions of people to starve to death while he spent billions on military weapons, amassed and stashed $4 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts, crippled an entire county under his tyrannical, lunatic control and cult of personality.
posted by nickyskye at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well, it's a good thing we've never had a monarchy that spanned centuries. Otherwise, Kim Il Un would have a chance.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Godwin's Law is about inserting Hitler into an argument (which amazingly, nobody has yet... YOU PEOPLE ARE SLIPPING), then inserting Rosa Parks into an argument should from now on be known as KokuRyu's Rule.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


*Kim Jong Un, I mean? I haven't memorized his name right yet.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:22 PM on December 18, 2011


mccarty.tim, luckily, nor for that matter has a religion been built around a following of one person whose origins are regarded by adherents as unquestionably supernatural!
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:23 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


er, that lasted hundreds of years
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:23 PM on December 18, 2011


Looking well into the future: get your zombie jokes ready now for the 'Kim Jong-un Dead' thread.
posted by mazola at 9:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


.

There, you can have your ball back. Part of life is knowing when to quit.
posted by MattMangels at 9:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pulgasari is a North Korean feature film produced in 1985, a giant-monster film similar to the Japanese Godzilla series. It was produced by South Korean director Shin Sang-ok, who had been kidnapped in 1978 by North Korean intelligence on the orders of Kim Jong-il, son of the then-ruling Kim Il-sung.
posted by nickyskye at 9:26 PM on December 18, 2011


.)
posted by zomg at 9:27 PM on December 18, 2011


this morning tens of thousands of north korean children are saddened by the realization that they will have to perform a coordinated dance routine that shall surpass all previous coordinated dance routines.
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Recently deceased Václav Havel, on Kim Jong-il, from 2004.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:29 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


North Korean Animation SEK Studio
posted by KokuRyu at 9:29 PM on December 18, 2011


The celebration of Kim Jong Il's death is naïve and disturbing. We are ignoring the ubiquity and banality of evil.

Kim Jong Il did not single-handedly bend North Korea to his will, and he did not personally murder thousands of people. Like every oppressive dictatorship, the status quo in North Korea is maintained through the implicit or implicit consent of millions of individuals. Kim may be dead, but the power structure, govenment apparatus, ruling elite, and the military establishment remain, not to mention many, many people at every level of society who prey on each other to extract some advantage.

This is a somber moment and we should be cautious as well as hopeful. Kim Jong Il's death is the latest in a complex train of events whose destination is unclear. Cheering now doesn't seem to be anything but a way of covering your eyes and thinking that the problem has gone away. The head may be gone, but the beast is still there.
posted by Nomyte at 9:29 PM on December 18, 2011 [46 favorites]


Cheering now doesn't seem to be anything but a way of covering your eyes and thinking that the problem has gone away.

Who has said the problem has gone away?
posted by John Cohen at 9:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


North Korean Animation SEK Studio

Everything I know about SEK is summarized in this Wikipedia article.
posted by compartment at 9:35 PM on December 18, 2011


Kim Jong Il's death is the latest in a complex train of events whose destination is unclear.

You could say that about anything. Fact is an oppressive fucker is dead and there's some cause for celebration.
posted by furtive at 9:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, if we are going to show this dead tyrant the disrespect he so truly deserves, let's start looking at his most likely heirs:

Li'l Kim
Kim Kardashian
Kim Dotcom
Kim Komando
Kim Novak
Kim Hyun Joong (or Kim Hyung Jun - we know they're both aliases of Joey Fatone)
Kim Possible
Kimbo Slice
and, of course, Kim Chi (because the people of North Korea are starving, dammit!!!)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:36 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


"...Like every oppressive dictatorship, the status quo in North Korea is maintained through the implicit or implicit consent of millions of individuals. Kim may be dead, but the power structure, govenment apparatus, ruling elite, and the military establishment remain, not to mention many, many people at every level of society who prey on each other to extract some advantage."

It's jus, that kind of thing can't be sustained forever. After awhile it gets so hollow and transparently exploitative that no one believes anything anymore, and no one is willing to work themselves to death to keep those rusty wheels grinding. Everything starts to break down. Fear and punishment keeps the momentum going for awhile, but eventually you get East Germany in 1990 when millions of people start crossing the border and even the guards can't keep them back...
posted by Kevin Street at 9:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The son also rises | official pics.
posted by nickyskye at 9:37 PM on December 18, 2011


Al Jazeera's profile of Kim Jong-un mentions that he was chosen as successor in part because Kim Jong-il's "middle son is considered to be too feminine."
posted by mediareport at 9:39 PM on December 18, 2011


Do the crazy sons have hair-dos?

I'm curious as go what kind of crazy ziggurat they'll end up building to put his corpse in, or if it will all go to shit so fast they'll end up denouncing him and throwing his body in a ditch before they get around to that.
posted by Artw at 9:41 PM on December 18, 2011


I am glad he is gone.
Hopefully life for the people in the country that he fucked over so greatly will improve now.

He should have been in this Nando's: Last dictator standing
posted by dougzilla at 9:42 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm cheering and doing the happy dance.

I might even pop that bottle of champagne I've been saving.

Fuck Kim Jong Il, I'd spit on your grave, motherf*****.


If celebrating the (natural) death of a horrible, horrible person is wrong, I don't want to be right.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:43 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


What makes me sad about this is that he won. He got to live to the very end of his days with a nation catering to his every whim, nobody ever telling him anything he didn't want to hear. An army of hand chosen concubines, the very best and rarest veblen goods, criminal activity on the international level with no repercussions. And he died never getting any of that questioned or challenged. Here's hoping that his fuckhead son doesn't get a peaceful death in his sleep.

that-was-the-end-of-the-last-of-his-kind

If you mean dictators for life that are well known in the west, then I guess it is almost possible.

Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan
Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow, Turkmenistan (yeah, turns out not much changed after Turkmenbashi)
Emomali Rakhmon, Tajikistan
Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan
etc etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:51 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Watching Seoul Train on Netflix got me kind of fascinated with North Korea, the whole thing makes you furrow your brow and say wtf?

Those poor people, out of the frying pan, and most likely into the fire.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:57 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm sorry Hitch went first. He would have enjoyed eulogizing the freak.

That's so true. Darn it.

Here's Christopher Hitchens on North Korea, on video yt and in print.

Here's another, older one: Worse Than 1984
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm cheering and doing the happy dance.

I might even pop that bottle of champagne I've been saving.

Fuck Kim Jong Il, I'd spit on your grave, motherf*****.


As much as I can appreciate that sentiment, by all accounts he died relatively peacefully, in the lap of luxury, enjoying total freedom and, as Meatbomb points out, zero repercussions for anything he did. At least Milosevic died in jail.

Also, I think we ought to save the real celebrations for when North Korea is free. Sure, he's dead, but if the North Korean state continues to treat its own people the same way as always, and continues to exercise the same foreign policy, no sort of practical difference is made by his death, least of all to the North Korean people.

I'm glad the world is rid of one less evil turd. But as the actions of this evil turd continue, even in his absence, his death really amounts to simple transference of will from one body to the next, continuing his bidding.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:00 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that he lived his life like a candle in the wind.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:08 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Screen door, etc. etc.
posted by uosuaq at 10:10 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm glad the world is rid of one less evil turd. But as the actions of this evil turd continue, even in his absence, his death really amounts to simple transference of will from one body to the next, continuing his bidding.

Kim Jong Il II Electric Boogaloo
posted by Sailormom at 10:10 PM on December 18, 2011


I wonder if China might be considering abandoning their ties with North Korea right about now. If those wikileaks from last year were true, this might be an opportune time for them.
posted by cazoo at 10:12 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not going to throw a party just yet, MStPT, but I am slightly happier than I was a few hours ago, and it's because this guy is dead. I suspect I'll have to wait quite some time to celebrate the freedom of NK.

It's unseemly to "celebrate" someone's death, but I don't worry about unseemly too much.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 10:13 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So some reports say he died of "fatigue." I wonder if he was helped along.

A French agent called Hennessy was spotted on the scene...
posted by Skeptic at 10:16 PM on December 18, 2011


He got to live to the very end of his days with a nation catering to his every whim, nobody ever telling him anything he didn't want to hear. An army of hand chosen concubines, the very best and rarest veblen goods, criminal activity on the international level with no repercussions. And he died never getting any of that questioned or challenged.

Sorry, wrong thread.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 10:17 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if China might be considering abandoning their ties with North Korea right about now. If those wikileaks from last year were true, this might be an opportune time for them.

China needs to somehow support the North Korean regime, or face the prospect of several million starving refugees crossing over its border. The "ties" are not ideological - they are pragmatic.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was sad when he stopped using his AIM Account.

(With that said, LA's Koreatown is mighty quiet for news of this magnitude! I would love to see fireworks or something... Everyone is cautiously optimistic. As we've seen with so many other news stories both this year and last, cutting off the head of an organization does not necessary kill the body...)
posted by raihan_ at 10:40 PM on December 18, 2011


I'd rather celebrate Vaclav Havel's life than this bastard's death.
posted by Skeptic at 10:41 PM on December 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by etherist at 10:45 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fact is an oppressive fucker is dead and there's some cause for celebration.

Why? Everyone dies. Kim Jong Il managed to live to a very decent age (especially by North Korean standards) and die in peace and comfort. He wasn't going to live forever, but he lived about as long as anyone can expect, apparently living the kind of life he wanted, and he had as good a death as anyone could hope for. The story of his life has a happy ending. Is that something to celebrate?
posted by wwwwwhatt at 10:47 PM on December 18, 2011


He will be replaced by something worse. They always are.

Still, I'm happy he's not among us anymore, and that's why it's great to believe in Hell as the eternal destination for the wicked.
posted by falameufilho at 10:56 PM on December 18, 2011


Ain't no party like a Pyongyang party, 'cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY
posted by finite at 10:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


문 밖 길을 엉덩이에 충돌하게하지 않는군요.
Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out the door.
posted by phoebus at 10:57 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


China needs to somehow support the North Korean regime, or face the prospect of several million starving refugees crossing over its border.

They could always build a giant wall.
posted by one_bean at 11:04 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


In no way do I wish to diminish, or make light of, this man's shear evilness and the utter destruction he, and his regime, has wrecked upon the people of North Korea, but this thread has provided more 'lulz' moments than I can poke a stick at. I even shamelessly stole a comment from zeoslap and posted it to my son's Facebook wall. Unsurprisingly, I was rewarded with several 'bad Dad jokes' comments. Say what you will about the death of Kim Jong Il, it has provided me with a great deal of laughs - even as I acknowledge the millions who have suffered under the rule of this truly evil person. Such a weird dichotomy.
posted by vac2003 at 11:14 PM on December 18, 2011


I, too, wonder if he actually died six months ago. And unfortunately, though KJI was a terrible person, I fear his successor will not be any better.

A few months ago (based on recommendations in Metafilter threads, actually) I read Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. It features the oral histories of a handful of people who grew up in North Korea and eventually escaped. Even though I did know a little bit about what goes on there, I was still floored by the depths of misery and the breadth of human suffering described in the book. If you are at all interested in North Korea, I highly recommend it. It describes a country that is under a dictatorship so complete in its totalitarianism that it makes Orwell's 1984 look like a how-to manual.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:15 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


From The Korea Herald: Experts differ over prospect of N.K. hereditary power succession.
posted by taz at 11:16 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


As of June 2010, 110 factories were employing approximately 42,000 DPRK workers and 800 ROK staff…seeking to hire an additional 26,000 North Korean workers. Construction of dormitories and other infrastructure for the additional workers…fifty-year lease≥]…$57 per month—half of Chinese labour costs and less than 5 percent the salaries of their South Korean counterparts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaesong_Industrial_Region
Isn't that a lucky coincidence. A whole country full of people grateful to work for food scraps. Being owned in a corporation town will be a blessed relief.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 11:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's jus, that kind of thing can't be sustained forever. After awhile it gets so hollow and transparently exploitative that no one believes anything anymore, and no one is willing to work themselves to death to keep those rusty wheels grinding. Everything starts to break down. Fear and punishment keeps the momentum going for awhile, but eventually you get East Germany in 1990 when millions of people start crossing the border and even the guards can't keep them back...

The thing is that East Germany had West German (and British and American) TV and radio for decades. They had a much higher level of interaction with the West, so they could see how hollow the regime's promises are. This is not the case in the DPRK.

The level of isolation in the DPRK is staggering. I visited for a week some years ago, and we had three guides. One, the elder Mr. Smith (names changed to Western equivalents, because you never know who is reading this, and our guides are still in the country) had the start of a level of cynicism; he had a sense that maybe the regime isn't all it claims to be. But he was an experienced tour guide, with years of interaction with Westerners.

Our second tour guide, the young Miss Johnson was an intelligent young woman in her early 20s, apparently with a parent well placed in the Party -- they don't exactly hire tour guides from Kimslist. She was a little unsettled sitting on the bus ride in from the airport. It turns out that we were the second foreigners she's ever met in her life. (There are, or were, two or three expat Brits teaching English). Our third guide wasn't actually a tour guide at all. It was widely suspected that the young Mr. Smith was from one of the foreign ministries or something like that; not so much to spy on the other two tour guides or on us, so much as just there to practice his English, and meet people from foreign countries.

Miss Johnson, in particular, is exactly the kind of person who was crossing the border in 1989; but if she's never even met Westerners, she's probably not heard a lot of our side of things. And the DPRK side of things is amazingly skewed. North Korean propaganda sounds crazy to us because we haven't been immersed in it. There are things that are ham-fisted, sure, but if the whole message is so consistent, and the citizens have literally no other source of information, I'm still terrified that most citizens believe the state line.

And, of course, that border is not just patrolled, but is also the most heavily land-mined soil on Planet Earth, so it's not like you're going to see people rushing to embrace across it. The Chinese border is merely a wide river, but the Chinese have little or no interest in having millions of Koreans flooding across their border, and they're the kind of country people claim humanitarian refugee status from, not in.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


.
posted by - at 11:32 PM on December 18, 2011


- .... .- - .. ... .- -.-. - ..- .- .-.. .-.. -.-- -.- .. -. -.. --- ..-. .-- .. - - -.-- , but obscure, -.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 11:37 PM on December 18, 2011


Imagine the sense of entitlement his son Kim Jong-un must have. He has been raised like a little prince in a country told to worship his father and grandfather like kings or gods, and now he has inherited all that. I hope his brothers -- who must also feel that sense of entitlement -- don't get powerful backers.
posted by pracowity at 12:37 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know much about Korean-English transliteration. Is there any chance that the son's name could have an alternate spelling? Something like Kim Jong Um, or Kim Jong Uh, or Kim Jong Er, or Kim Jong Hooh Boy?
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:53 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's Kim Young 'un.
posted by pracowity at 1:07 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]



I just feel sorry for the North Korean people, because you just know many austere days/weeks/months of national mourning are going to be foisted on them.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:26 AM on December 19, 2011


Why? Everyone dies. Kim Jong Il managed to live to a very decent age (especially by North Korean standards) and die in peace and comfort. He wasn't going to live forever, but he lived about as long as anyone can expect, apparently living the kind of life he wanted, and he had as good a death as anyone could hope for. The story of his life has a happy ending. Is that something to celebrate?

I know what you mean. I feel the same way about Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Stalin (although there's a chance that Stalin was actually murdered). Old age and a relatively comfortable death are such an injustice when it comes to brutal dictators with so much blood on their hands.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:32 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, it's great he's dead. But really, what he deserved was so much worse than what he got. It's note really possible, absent magic and supernatural punishments as imagined in the more lurid portraits of Hell, to come up with worldly punishments that fit the likes of the Kims, Stalins, Hitlers, Berias, and so on, but it's a pity he didn't get the indignity of a Mussolini-style exist that would have at least been a little step on the route to the kind of reward he's due for the vileness committed by his regime.

The real tragedy, as others have noted, though, is that North Koreans are no better off; neither are South Koreans. It's hard to imagine the generals in the North suddenly deciding the appalling lot of the people outside their privileged circle suddenly merits any kind of change. I fear the lot of North Koreans will continue to be grinding misery that I can scarcely imagine.

Those folks so interested in decorum or their own feeling of moral superiority who are busy dotting or whatever have a moral compass so perverted I don't even know where to begin, so I shan't.
posted by rodgerd at 1:33 AM on December 19, 2011


.
posted by telstar at 1:36 AM on December 19, 2011


.... many austere days/weeks/months of national mourning are going to be foisted on them. Devils Slide

Will they be required to weep hysterically the whole time?
posted by dabitch at 1:51 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


dabitch, that's one of the most bizarre scenes of mourning I've ever seen. Probably only second to Khomeini's corpse falling out of his shroud. "Weep or else, you fuckers!"

And is it just me or does the bespectaled guy in the second row at the left of the screen smile/smirk around the 23 second mark?
posted by Devils Slide at 2:05 AM on December 19, 2011


man fuck 'lulz'
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:15 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il.

Is this the year that all those deals with the devil expired or something?
"

Cheney's still alive.
posted by symbioid at 2:30 AM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Symboid, there's still 2 weeks to go...
posted by pmcp at 2:41 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


dabitch, that's one fearful scene of crowd hysteria.
posted by unliteral at 2:44 AM on December 19, 2011


This sort of thing just seems like an attempt to be the first person to post a thread which will inevitably be a couple hundred replies long, and which serves no greater function than the front page of Google News.

Yes, there hasn't been a great deal worth reading here for such a long thread. Thanks to those like Needled who actually added some information.

I bet he had a lot of fans.

Fan death is entirely unknown in the DPRK.

Wone-wee ... I'm so wone-wee ...

Now it is we who are so ronery. So ronery and sadry arone.


I have never understood why racial stereotyping seems regarded as acceptable when directed against an unpopular or evil person.

So this means he *actually* died 6 months ago, no?

We just don't know. I've written before here that one of the unique points about North Korea is that there are many things we just don't know. Major social and political changes are deduced from slight changes in the wording of official news releases.

It's times like these when I wish that North Koreans had free speech and internet access so that we could actually see how they're handling it. But then, if they had free speech and internet access, maybe they wouldn't have fallen victim to the world's largest personality cult.

This is putting the cart before the horse. Kim Jong Il did not fool an unfortunately ignorant population into supporting him; he continued the 50 year old tradition of his father of running a closed authoritarian state. Free speech and internet access would be lovely, but many North Koreans are malnourished, most have no access to telephone or television and the slightest sign of dissent results in extremely harsh punishment. I imagine that most North Koreans are indeed very upset - there is no widespread hidden underground that would instantly be heard if we could magically give the population iphones and twitter accounts.

Is the assumption here that his zany son is going to be an improvement?

The most honest answer is that no one knows. (see above) There is almost no hard information on Kim Jong Un, certainly not that he is 'zany'.

I'm pretty sure sanity isn't one of the renowned qualities inherent in the family.

His father certainly had some eccentricities, but regarding him (and other dictators) as irrational is a common and dangerous error. Internally, he ruled North Korea without (as far as we can tell) serious challenge from his father's death to his own. Externally, he played a weak hand without folding despite sitting at the same table as the world's three biggest economies.

I hope this will be enough of a jolt for North Koreans to want a modern life and political freedoms, but to think this will end well requires much more optimism than I can muster.

It's remarkable how little understanding many people in democracies have of dictatorships. The opinions of the majority of North Koreans are, sadly, irrelevant. Many are struggling for survival. Many believe in the racist ideology and paranoia of North Korean state propaganda. Unlike Eastern Europe in the eighties or Egypt this year, there is no serious doubt that the North Korean army would use full military force (e.g. artillery) on any serious protest movement.

According to North Korean state TV, not only did Kim Jong Imp check every item off his bucket list (finished a round of golf in 18 strokes, etc).

The golf story (like many of the AMAZING FACTS that get trotted out) is mostly myth. There was never a claim that he achieved 18 straight holes-in-one.

And we'll see what the Generals come up with. It'd be hard to imagine a regime worse for its people than the DPRK. This may be a situation where a 'coup-lite' actually improves things for the peasantry...

As I've written before here, of all the likely ways forward for the DPRK, possibly the best for the North Korean people and the region in general is a Chinese-backed military coup.

Fear and punishment keeps the momentum going for awhile, but eventually you get East Germany in 1990 when millions of people start crossing the border and even the guards can't keep them back...

There are a number of major differences. People in the DDR had reasonable access to information from the rest of the world. People in the DPRK have virtually none. People in the DDR had underground opposition networks. We know of none in the DPRK. The DDR leadership, in the end, was not willing to machine-gun crowds of civilians. We're fairly sure that the DPRK leadership would do so without hesitation.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:48 AM on December 19, 2011 [46 favorites]


This is what's worrying:
"But there was uncertainty about how much support he has among the ruling elite, especially in the military, and worry he might try some military provocation to help establish his credentials.

"Kim Jong-un is a pale reflection of his father and grandfather. He has not had the decades of grooming and securing of a power base that Jong-il enjoyed before assuming control from his father," said Bruce Klingner, an Asia policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

"(He) may feel it necessary in the future to precipitate a crisis to prove his mettle to other senior leaders or deflect attention from the regime's failings." -- Reuters
posted by taz at 2:51 AM on December 19, 2011


>Now it is we who are so ronery. So ronery and sadry arone.

I have never understood why racial stereotyping seems regarded as acceptable when directed against an unpopular or evil person.


Nah, it's okay to make fun of people if they're Asian
posted by KokuRyu at 2:52 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder what it would've been like if Kim Jong-Nam were to be the replacement. We'd never know, I guess. He seemed to be the least evil one, but, well... That's why he was removed from the choice.

I've heard some nasty things about Kim Jong-Un, but as you say, I'm sure we don't know much about him, just rumors and such. I heard he was kind of like a spoiled brat and a bit of a jerk, so... we'll see I guess. It's hard to imagine anything worse than Jong-Il (well, you know, aside from every other democidal maniac that ran countries in the 20th centuries).
posted by symbioid at 2:54 AM on December 19, 2011


I really find this thread distasteful. A "thank you" to those that see this event as a way to enter into some meaningful discourse.
posted by tomswift at 2:58 AM on December 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


it's okay to make fun of people if they're Asian

No, it really sucks. Apparently these are quotes from some movie, and they're going to be a whack-a-mole thing or something. But it would be better to pursue this and other complaints about the thread in Metatalk.
posted by taz at 3:04 AM on December 19, 2011


Wow, what a horrible thread. I can't get excited about people dying.
posted by mnfn at 3:22 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Please take further complaints about the thread to Metatalk, thanks.]
posted by taz at 3:31 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


dabitch, that's one fearful scene of crowd hysteria.

Reminds me of the funeral scene in The Host.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 AM on December 19, 2011


This is an obituary I'm happy to read.
posted by Skorgu at 4:03 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Welcome to North Korea.
posted by timsteil at 4:17 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Regardless of how I feel about death or the person who's died, I hope things can become better for the North Koreans as a result. They've dealt with so much crap already; they could seriously use the break.
posted by Mooski at 4:25 AM on December 19, 2011


I think it's surprising news, we knew Kim was ailing but I don't think anyone expected him to die this soon.

I believe he was a truly evil bastard but I don't feel like celebrating. Now if the North Korean people rose up, overthrew him, put him on trial, proved his crimes in front of the world, and publically executed him, then I'd feel like celebrating.

It's going to be an interesting news cycle for the next few weeks.
posted by smoothvirus at 4:27 AM on December 19, 2011


It's going to be an interesting news cycle for the next few weeks.

Um, this is the twitter generation of journalism. I think you meant next few hours.
posted by Fizz at 4:30 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have all of George Bush's horcruxes been destroyed?
posted by Fizz at 4:36 AM on December 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's going to be an interesting news cycle for the next few weeks.

North Korea reportedly tested another missile Monday, the same day its leader Kim Jong-Il died
posted by KokuRyu at 4:40 AM on December 19, 2011


No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

.
posted by longtime_lurker at 4:51 AM on December 19, 2011


Not sure if this is common knowledge, but an American, Charles Jenkins, was part of the 2002 Japanese abductee repatriation. A deserter, he ended up marrying a Japanese abductee while in captivity, and now lives her and their children on Sado Island, where he works in a gift shop.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:56 AM on December 19, 2011


I'm still waiting for someone to make the case that this is a death worth mourning.
posted by spitbull at 4:56 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not.
posted by John Cohen at 5:00 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting to hear why this single link obit was allowed to stand. Dude was dead last night, and I'm pretty certain he'll continue to be dead today, tomorrow, and for the rest of eternity. Normally a thread like this would have been nuked faster than North Korea if they invaded the South. Having said that, I've used up my MeTa for the week.
posted by gman at 5:03 AM on December 19, 2011


The Voice of Korea, North Korea’s international radio service, made its first broadcast in English after the announcement of the death of Kim Jong Il. [recording + transcript]

The Guardian on Kim Jong-un. Educated in Switzerland.
posted by rory at 5:06 AM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kim Jong-Il? I barely knew her!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:14 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


codacorolla: "This is such a weak thread. A single link that's really just a forum for people to come in and say how much they hated the guy. I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site."

Sometimes it's about the links, sometimes it's about the comments, sometimes it's about the catharsis.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:20 AM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


More seriously, no dot from me, not because I revel in anyone's death, but because I prefer to leave them rather sparingly, limiting them to those I have a very high level of admiration for. There's a number of generally good, decent people whose obit threads didn't garner a dot from me just because they didn't rise to that level in my estimation. I feel if I leave a dot in every obit thread they become meaningless.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:24 AM on December 19, 2011


I'm still waiting for someone to make the case that this is a death worth mourning.

I'll give it a shot.

We are gathered here today to remember a bad man. Wait, that's not got it.

Let us all remember the things that Kim Jong Il left us... a legacy of ruthlessly slaughtering his citizens for slight offenses, of helping tyrants around the world, of callously using nuclear weapons as a trump card to retain his stranglehold on power thus using the threat of global nuclear annihilation as his "in" to a life of hitting on Condoleezza Rice and a reputation for the indulgence of his whims that made Michael Jackson look self-negating.... No, that's not what we're looking for either.

How about this:

Once upon a time a child was born, and he had the grave misfortune to be made into Kim Jong Il. A bawling infant just out of the womb may not be entirely a blank slate, but god, to be raised as the son of a ruthless authoritarian... fate sure put a number on the soul of that poor babe, the one person in the world who could bring about such heights of evil unchecked. Goodness really is its own reward, and it was one that as far as we can tell this child never knew. The tyrant, living in perpetual fear of overthrow, eventually becomes as much a prisoner as those he tyrannizes. We don't see that side of Kim Jong Il because we only see what he wanted us to see, a universe made in the image of man. What a shocking universe it is.

Here's hoping his own sons manage to escape that fate... and not just for their sakes.
posted by JHarris at 5:25 AM on December 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


One of the things that occurs to me: considering how well the NK people probably deal with making do with so little, they'd be poised to be economic wonders if they could enter the larger world economy. They'd make Chinese workers seem like luxory items.

Not saying that it's good that labor has become a race to the bottom, but if you compare what China loooked like even a decade ago with how it looks now, it's pretty clear that economic development plays a huge role. If people in North Korea had access to more capital, it could really improve their livelihoods immensely.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:32 AM on December 19, 2011


DevilsAdvocate: "More seriously, no dot from me, not because I revel in anyone's death, but because I prefer to leave them rather sparingly, limiting them to those I have a very high level of admiration for. There's a number of generally good, decent people whose obit threads didn't garner a dot from me just because they didn't rise to that level in my estimation. I feel if I leave a dot in every obit thread they become meaningless."

? Not sure if you are being facetious, but are you aware of the significance of the dot?
posted by Deathalicious at 5:34 AM on December 19, 2011


North Korea reportedly tested another missile Monday, the same day its leader Kim Jong-Il died

That explains the interesting payload that was swinging a cowboy hat and yelling "Yee Haw!"

I am "amused" at the total attitudes here, and it's making me regret not speaking up in the Hitchens thread.

I would be more glad of KJ-I's passing if I had any hope that it would bring any good to the people of North Korea. Alas, with KI-E being brought to the fore, it's clear that it is same as it ever was.
posted by eriko at 5:38 AM on December 19, 2011


For those who are interested in understanding a bit more about the reality of life on the ground I can recommend the following:

Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick. A beautifully written and chilling treatise put together through interviews with defectors.

The Forbidden Railway - 3 years old but v.interesting Blogpost charting two adventurous Austrians who decided to try and take the train from Vienna to Pyongyang (via Slovakia, Ukraine and Russia)
posted by numberstation at 5:42 AM on December 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


Nothing to Envy is a wonderful read. Very humanizing in the face of so much horror.
posted by Fizz at 5:45 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

It's my understanding that the dot means "moment of silence." And upon hearing this news last night, I did have a moment of silence, as my brain stopped for a minute and then thought "Oh, shit!" Because I find it hard to believe that North Korea is not going to be even more worse off in the hands of an inexperienced 20-something man-child - a child who probably hasn't even had to learn the same life lessons that most people have learned at that age. I don't see how he can have the strength of character to stand up to anyone, good or bad. I have no idea who's really going to be running the country now, but I seriously doubt the son is going to be anything more than a volatile puppet.

So yes, I did have a moment of silence - for the North Korean people.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:00 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the nature of the thread is at least in part because there's so damn little to talk about, because North Korea is a black hole for information.

Here's a link to North Korean state TV. I had to open it with VLC to get it to work:

http://112.170.78.145:50000/chosun

The stream comes courtesy of South Korea-based Unification broadcasting. More here and here.

In the few minutes I've been tuned in, there were masses of wailing mourners, and then there were propaganda songs. Select mourners were being interviewed. If there are any Korean speakers who can tune in, I'd be interested in learning what's being said.
posted by compartment at 6:01 AM on December 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Not sure if you are being facetious, but are you aware of the significance of the dot?

I'm not being facetious and I am aware of the significance of the dot. At least its original significance. It's significance may have changed over time, but I adhere to the older meaning. What's your point?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:03 AM on December 19, 2011


It's my understanding that the dot means "moment of silence." And upon hearing this news last night, I did have a moment of silence, as my brain stopped for a minute and then thought "Oh, shit!"

You're conflating two very different kinds of "moments of silence." One is a solemn remembrance of a person or persons who are now gone. The other is a moment of confusion and befuddlement. You're free to use a dot to represent whatever you want, but using it to represent the latter is non-standard at best.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:10 AM on December 19, 2011


It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge.

Christians are told to avoid judgement because they believe the perpetrators of evil will receive judgement in the afterlife. That's not morality; that's wishful, hopeful thinking that is the golden ticket for many religious people to do evil and watch evil with indifference.

That's not to say I'm joyful that he is dead — I don't celebrate death — but much like a horrible politician losing their job, I'm glad the awful decisions made by Kim Jong Il have stopped affecting people who deserve better. The best I can offer someone like him is that he decompose in silence.
posted by deanklear at 6:11 AM on December 19, 2011


December 19: Kim Jong Il is pronounced dead.

December 20: The Onion posts an article, "Korean state television announces Kim Jong Il returned from the dead in miracuous resurrection."

December 21: Korean state television announces Kim Jong Il returned from the dead in miracuous resurrection.

December 22: The Onion publishes public retraction, apology.
posted by JHarris at 6:12 AM on December 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


You're conflating two very different kinds of "moments of silence." One is a solemn remembrance of a person or persons who are now gone. The other is a moment of confusion and befuddlement. You're free to use a dot to represent whatever you want, but using it to represent the latter is non-standard at best.

Actually, if you read my entire comment, I said "So yes, I did have a moment of silence - for the North Korean people." (Who may very well be gone soon. )
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:17 AM on December 19, 2011


In honour of the occasion, it's time to pull out - Cunnilingus In North Korea

That is BONKERS. I love it and want to know more - did he really say all that? Am I missing something?
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 6:23 AM on December 19, 2011


Juche!
posted by Renoroc at 6:30 AM on December 19, 2011


Actually, if you read my entire comment, I said "So yes, I did have a moment of silence - for the North Korean people."

I did read your entire comment, including the part where you said, "I did have a moment of silence, as my brain stopped for a minute and then thought 'Oh, shit!'" Which is not the sort of moment of silence of solemn remembrance which is traditionally represented by a dot. So either you are using a dot in a non-standard way, or you had two separate moments of silence (one of each type) in which case the first seems irrelevant to the the dot. (You might have just as well said, "I had a moment of silence while I was asleep.")

(Who may very well be gone soon. )

Oh, I didn't realize we were doing that. In that case:

.

(This dot is for Abe Vigoda.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:31 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Hey, you two, please take the dot thing to email if it needs any further deconstruction.]
posted by taz at 6:36 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


OMG are we now arguing about the accepted semantic meaning of a fucking dot?
posted by ook at 6:38 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damn! I had him riding out the year in my dictator pool.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2011


...missed it by that much
posted by ook at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not a death worth mourning, a life worth mourning.

As to the death, I may feel some relief that he is gone (although probably not, given the uncertainties that remain), and perhaps some satisfaction that a noxious thing has ceased to be.
Can I take any pleasure in it? If someone had his legs broken by a man with a sledgehammer, would you applaud when the assault stopped or when he took his first steps of recovery?
posted by howfar at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2011


[Sorry.]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:46 AM on December 19, 2011


No Juchebag jokes yet? Well, that's ok.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:52 AM on December 19, 2011


kim jong-il looking at things
posted by nickyskye at 7:05 AM on December 19, 2011


Well, this stock quote is counter-intuitive..unless the authorities are simply ordering gallons at a time to be poured ceremoniously on the ground.
posted by obscurator at 7:09 AM on December 19, 2011


kim jong-un looking at things
posted by corvine at 7:12 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


JHarris, too many Korean babies have starved to death for me to shed a tear for the blank slate that was a newborn Kim Jong Il. It would have been better had he never been born.
posted by spitbull at 7:14 AM on December 19, 2011


Imagine the sense of entitlement his son Kim Jong-un must have. He has been raised like a little prince in a country told to worship his father and grandfather like kings or gods, and now he has inherited all that. I hope his brothers -- who must also feel that sense of entitlement -- don't get powerful backers.

If Kim Jong-Nam hadn't tried to fake a passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland, then probably he would be the Glorious Leader today. (Maybe Bob Iger would back his efforts at a hostile takeover!) Anyway, Kim Jong-Un, Kim Jong-Nam, Kim Jong-Chul: at this point Erica Jong might as well toss her hat into the ring. She's got the Fear Of Flying.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:24 AM on December 19, 2011


Once upon a time a child was born, and he had the grave misfortune to be made into Kim Jong Il. A bawling infant just out of the womb may not be entirely a blank slate, but god, to be raised as the son of a ruthless authoritarian... fate sure put a number on the soul of that poor babe, the one person in the world who could bring about such heights of evil unchecked. Goodness really is its own reward, and it was one that as far as we can tell this child never knew. The tyrant, living in perpetual fear of overthrow, eventually becomes as much a prisoner as those he tyrannizes. We don't see that side of Kim Jong Il because we only see what he wanted us to see, a universe made in the image of man. What a shocking universe it is.

That might be the most eloquent way anyone could have explained why you'd be at all regretful under the circumstances -- yet I still have a problem with it. Because you didn't bother to write out a thoughtful paragraph like this about the death of a child from starvation and malnutrition that Kim Jong-Il decided to impose -- didn't have the grave misfortune to impose, but decided to -- on that child. Instead you spend your time being concerned for the mass-murdering dictator. And I just don't understand that.
posted by John Cohen at 7:26 AM on December 19, 2011


An interesting and thoughtful speculation from a Reddit member | the original thread.

A military coup is a distinct possibility. The death of Kim Jong-Il has created a power vacuum, and many generals are looking to fill it. There are coups that have been in the works for a long time.

That said, Kim Jong-Un is not an idiot like the Western media and agencies like mine have spread as rumor. He is not particularly capable, but he is Kim Jong-Il's son -- he is ruthless and largely unwilling to relinquish power. A military coup against him would divide the country, and coup leaders cannot have that. NK is strong because it is united, and its leaders know this.

Any coup would need to be mostly bloodless and garner popular support, likely through moving Kim Jong-Un to a prominent but powerless position. The most likely culprits in this scenario are Kim Jong-Il's sister, Kim Kyong-hui, and her husband, Chang Sung-taek. Sung-taek has been a prominent figure in NK's leadership since Kim Jong-Il's stroke in 2008, and Kim Kyong-hui is a high-ranking general with considerable sway. Were they to stage a coup, the situation would likely remain rather stable with few ramifications for South Korea.

A less likely but scarier situation involves China. The Chinese are largely tired of dealing with North Korea, and Korea as a whole. They may make a move to establish power in North Korea. The Chinese already have a great deal of sway in NK due to them being North Korea's only real supporter. They may manipulate the situation there to consolidate more influence and reign in the North Korean rogue state. While this would be good for the Chinese, it would scare us here in the United States. While I doubt it would come to open conflict, posturing would be made over the issue of Taiwan. The US would likely arm Taiwan, citing a Chinese power grab in NK as grounds to prepare for one in Taiwan.

The Russians also have a vested interest in the developments in North Korea, because they are a buyer of arms and military technology (particularly of the nuclear sort). They do not want that market to collapse, so they would likely maneuver to prevent instability in NK.
The South Koreans are the most important actor here. SK wants to retake the region, but they know this would anger the Chinese, Japanese, and US (though they are SK's allies, Japan and the US care more about relations with China than they do about the reunification of Korea). Any action by South Korea to destabilize North Korea will likely result in a swift response from North Korea. NK's leaders know that the best way to consolidate power would be to head North Korea in a military conflict against South Korea. SK also knows this, and they also realize the ramifications any action would entail.

My department, though not all of my agency is in accord, does not see the situation as regionally destabilizing. Internal conflict will, as we see it, be the only outcome. All others will watch closely and carefully, and this will be used as a bargaining chip in the next few weeks -- I guarantee there will be a UN Security Council meeting over this and Russia, China, and the US will debate the issue.

I would not worry too much. If anything, the situation in North Korea is no more unpredictable than it was before Kim Jong-Il's death.

posted by nickyskye at 7:35 AM on December 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Instead you spend your time being concerned for the mass-murdering dictator. And I just don't understand that.

Pity is not finite. If it were, feeling sorry for someone who banged his leg a bit would be a criminal waste instead of a normal human response. We respond to the things we encounter.

If you're concerned with a waste of time, well, we could probably all be out doing something for a starving child right now, couldn't we? Probably should be, it is Christmas after all.
posted by howfar at 7:38 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Cohen, that comment seemed like more of a thought exercise than anything.

Someone challenged, "I'm still waiting for someone to make the case that this is a death worth mourning."

And JHarris said, "I'll give it a shot."

It's probably safe to say that whether people are expressing joy or fear or nonchalance about this event, they aren't in favor of starving babies and dictatorial enslavement. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt on that.
posted by zennie at 7:42 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Hell holes": North Korea's secret prison camps
posted by nickyskye at 7:42 AM on December 19, 2011


Thanks, nickyskye, that Reddit comment has the ring of truth to me, although a couple of parts (the US response to Chinese actions and Russia's level of interest in arms sales) seemed a little over-reaching. I will consult some well-informed contacts of mine and post their responses if interesting.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This seems like a good moment for some delusional optimism.

It's always a good moment for some brief delusional optimism.

Here's hoping for the people.
posted by warbaby at 7:56 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy

Me too it was good. For an interesting fictional take, check out The Orphan Master's Son, which hasn't be released yet (Jan 2012) but I read a preview copy and can highly recommned it. The first section is about the Japanese abductions discussed above thread. It's a unique book in genre, kind of an action adventure comic holocaust novel, which actually works.
posted by stbalbach at 7:58 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those will certainly be hard shoes to fill.
posted by Kabanos at 8:00 AM on December 19, 2011


Best illustration of Kim Jong Il ever.
posted by Kabanos at 8:02 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Kim Jong-Il had nightmares of being stoned by angry members of the public..

The dictator told the late founder of the Hyundai group, Chung Ju-Yung, of having a dream that he was being stoned "first by Americans, second by South Koreans and finally by North Koreans," said Mr Chung's son, Chung Mong-Joon.
posted by needled at 8:26 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


symbioid: "Cheney's still alive."

And Cheney, a democratically elected official whose actions were sanctioned by a democratically elected congress is every bit as bad as Bin Laden, Ghadaffi and Kim. Ladies and gents, I give you the Metafilter moral equivalence.
posted by falameufilho at 8:55 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


The leadership of NK is now in play, and China will pick the winner.
posted by whuppy at 9:01 AM on December 19, 2011


That is BONKERS. I love it and want to know more

Nope, he didn't really say that. But it is awesome, nonetheless. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries is the work of two Seoul-based artists, Young-Hae Chang and Mark Voge, who make amazingly non-sucky web art.

I find the text in question pretty wonderful, insofar as it is both compelling and believable. It does a great job of exploiting the use of short, declarative statements that can often be found in speeches and propaganda. It's the only thing that has ever made me think, even for a moment, "maybe this guy isn't all bad." Which is pretty amazing. It's a great example of a short, rhetorical work. I kind of wish I could use it to tutor SAT students in essay writing.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:11 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


And Cheney, a democratically elected official whose actions were sanctioned by a democratically elected congress is every bit as bad as Bin Laden, Ghadaffi and Kim. Ladies and gents, I give you the Metafilter moral equivalence.

Evil is as evil does.

Also: Democracy is like a box of chocolates.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:28 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


State footage of North Koreans weeping uncontrollably at the news.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 AM on December 19, 2011


The golf story (like many of the AMAZING FACTS that get trotted out) is mostly myth. There was never a claim that he achieved 18 straight holes-in-one.

18 holes in one? Yeah that'd be ridiculous, absurd. A complete & total fabrication somebody made up to make him look bad. It was only 11.
posted by scalefree at 9:29 AM on December 19, 2011


I kind of wish I could use it to tutor SAT students in essay writing.

Have they not yet embraced the radical dialectic of cunnilingus?
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on December 19, 2011


codacorolla: This is such a weak thread. A single link that's really just a forum for people to come in and say how much they hated the guy. I'm not Kim Jong Il fan, but it seems beneath the site.

Deathalicious: Sometimes it's about the links, sometimes it's about the comments, sometimes it's about the catharsis.

And sometimes, there's nothing more to say. North Korea and Kim Jong-Il are mysterious, but not unknown. With his death, there was no sudden flood of new information on his life. Someone could have put together a bio post to fluff up the obit, or just link to Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook page for North Korea for further context.

The one interesting thing that I could think of to post along with his obit would be sound speculation of what's next, but I figure more of that will come out in the next weeks.


nickyskye:
Pulgasari is a North Korean feature film produced in 1985, a giant-monster film similar to the Japanese Godzilla series. It was produced by South Korean director Shin Sang-ok, who had been kidnapped in 1978 by North Korean intelligence on the orders of Kim Jong-il, son of the then-ruling Kim Il-sung.


Covered twice, previlously on MetaFilter.


nickyskye: The son also rises
At right is a photo of a girl believed to be his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, also taken in Switzerland when she was attending a public school in Bern.
The fact that the family members of a nation's leader is unknown to the world at large is astounding, and is a glimpse of how good North Korea is at controlling information.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:35 AM on December 19, 2011


I need this level of empathy explained to me:
State footage of North Koreans weeping uncontrollably at the news.

Can anyone point to a discussion taking place on the mental awareness of the average North Korean - awareness of how much their country sucks in comparison to anything. Are they oblivious and truly believe greatness has now died?

Or is this staged and most of the populous want out?
posted by fluffycreature at 9:37 AM on December 19, 2011


Or is this staged and most of the populous want out?

If I were an average North Korean today I would get myself to a very public place and weep loud and long.
posted by davey_darling at 9:41 AM on December 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


In North Korea, homes have a speaker on the wall to wake people up with propaganda in the morning and put them to sleep with it at night.
Yep we have those too. They're called televisions.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:44 AM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Or is this staged and most of the populous want out?

We don't see the before or after, but you can certainly bet that it was staged. How heartfelt the emotion is another story. My take would be that they were started off by some cheer cryleaders and then emotions being contagious they eventually all started bawling. Perhaps it was displaced sadness at living in such a repressed culture and cathartic for different reasons than losing Dear Leader.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The traffic girls are sorta cute

Ah good, I have an excuse to post this this awesome video

It's interesting that this new guy was educated overseas, in Switzerland. Hopefully he was exposed to western music, maybe he'll bring some new life into North Korean music, since these showtunes are getting old.

On the other hand, it was Europe, hopefully he didn't get into dubstep

this reddit thread, started by a South Korean probably gives more insight into what the average SKer is thinking, more worrying then celebrating. (This is the thread that nickyskye linked too, as well). Take the IRSecurityThrowaway guy's think with a grain of salt though, people who work in those fields only get to see secret information in their purview, and are just as prone to coming up with grand theories as anyone else. Still interesting, though.

The weeping in public thing is weird as hell. It shows how much of a cult the whole thing is there. It's like a nationwide, government sanctioned cult.

---
One of my core philosophical principles is that two "wrongs" are perfectly capable of making a right. Imagine telling Rosa Parks, "Look Rosa, this law about where black people can sit on buses is wrong, but you can't just break the law and sit wherever you want! Two wrongs don't make a right!"

Yes, the law about not shooting unarmed people is just like the law about black people not being able to sit where they want on a bus. Totally the same thing!

Wtf is this nonsense? It wasn't even a "Wrong" for Rosa Parks to engage in civil disobedience. A more appropriate analogy would be trying to assassinate George Wallace.
If Godwin's Law is about inserting Hitler into an argument (which amazingly, nobody has yet... YOU PEOPLE ARE SLIPPING), then inserting Rosa Parks into an argument should from now on be known as KokuRyu's Rule.
Please, Godwin's Law simply states that people are more likely to analogize the people they are arguing with as Hitler as the length of a thread increases. It doesn't say "Don't do it" Also the idea that we shouldn't compare people to Rosa Parks is just ridiculous. Trying to remove examples of people doing particular things from discourse only serves to make discussion impossible. At least with Hitler, what he did is pretty uncommon, while Rosa Parks is just an example of an individual engaging in civil disobedience against a great evil, something that happens fairly regularly, and in fact something we should kind of be encouraging.

Why is it even surprising that people would compare people engaging in Civil Disobedience to Rosa Parks? Saying "Don't compare yourselves to her!!" is just arguing that whatever your complaining about isn't as bad as segregation.
posted by delmoi at 9:46 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Yep we have those too. They're called televisions.

Yes, but by many accounts these propaganda boxes in the DPRK are both mandatory and you would be committing a crime to disable them. Yes, TV in the US serves up a boatload of propaganda and conditioning, but there's a much wider array of choice there, including not subscribing at all. Not even close to being the same.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:47 AM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cheney, a democratically elected official whose actions were sanctioned by a democratically elected congress is every bit as bad as Bin Laden, Ghadaffi and Kim. Ladies and gents, I give you the Metafilter moral equivalence.

Oh, don't get your panties in a wad. Cheney wasn't as bad as Kim. And if he ever decides to run again he can run on that. "Dick Cheney: Not as bad as Kim Jong-Il."

That said, Kim Jong-Un is not an idiot like the Western media and agencies like mine have spread as rumor. He is not particularly capable, but he is Kim Jong-Il's son -- he is ruthless and largely unwilling to relinquish power. A military coup against him would divide the country, and coup leaders cannot have that. NK is strong because it is united, and its leaders know this.

While this is likely true—it seems like a platitude to me—pseudonymously sourced comments from redditors broadly hinting at their Agency connections seem, like, extremely dubious, man.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:48 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


via my FB flist: 25 People Who Thought Lil' Kim Died
posted by flex at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Vice.com visits a DPRK labor camp in Siberia.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]



And Cheney, a democratically elected official whose actions were sanctioned by a democratically elected congress is every bit as bad as Bin Laden, Ghadaffi and Kim. Ladies and gents, I give you the Metafilter moral equivalence.


You know who else was a democratically elected official?







That's right: Tony Blair.
posted by acb at 10:25 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


25 People Who Thought Lil' Kim Died

I can't tell which of those are supposed to be ironic.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:02 AM on December 19, 2011


May 2011 - NK people speak

Covering some of the same ground as Nothing to Envy. Will answer some questions about political opinions and exposure to outside media, and daily life details.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:05 AM on December 19, 2011


"Yep we have those too. They're called televisions."

North Korean hipster says, "Is this something I'd need a home propaganda loudspeaker to understand?"

I was into mass synchronized Dear Leader dances before it was mandatory.
posted by klangklangston at 11:15 AM on December 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


As we've come to expect, a hungover Karl Welzein weighs in with his two cents on Twitter.
posted by Gordion Knott at 11:21 AM on December 19, 2011


> It's interesting that this new guy was educated overseas, in Switzerland. Hopefully he was exposed to western music, maybe he'll bring some new life into North Korean music, since these showtunes are getting old.

The old man was born in the Soviet Union and had a fondness for western films, Italian shoes and Hennessy. I doubt anybody in the dynasty considers it out of line, and doubt that any of them are concerned with sharing their interests or bounty with the the North Korean underclasses.
posted by ardgedee at 11:23 AM on December 19, 2011


John Cohen opens up a can of worms, to wit: what is the proper and respectful title to use now that he's passed?

The simple and ordinary 'Dear Leader'?

The wordier 'Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have'?

The more spiritual 'Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven'?

Perhaps we can all agree on 'Unique Leader'.

</decorum>
posted by mazola at 11:24 AM on December 19, 2011


Strange, I just finished watching Kimjongilia yesterday. Good documentary about the country/cult.
posted by kozad at 11:33 AM on December 19, 2011


25 People Who Thought Lil' Kim Died

Somethingsomething Foxy Brown somethingsomething Kim Jong Il Na Na
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:36 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like other people have said above, he is a terrible man but he's not singlehandedly responsible for everything North Korea is. There are hundreds of party officials who are just as, or more so, conservative and stringent than he is.

There may be a chance that the new leader can change things one way or another (for good or ill), but it would take changing an entire base of party elite, as well. Lord knows.

I'm betting his personal physicians will be put to death. Wish we could know.

As for his cult of personality, its amazing the things they come up with to make him sound so amazing. For example, people were told that he got "11 holes in one on his first time playing golf." The golf world is weeping to lose such an amazing golf hero!

All those weeping people, I wonder how many are weeping for real or are trying to out-weep others to show they weep the most.
posted by aacheson at 12:17 PM on December 19, 2011


Congratulations to JHarris for taking the time to consider the good amogst the Il.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


kim jong-un looking at things

Is it just me or does he look unnervingly like Roseanne Barr in some of those?
posted by aught at 12:36 PM on December 19, 2011


This is one of the greatest docs I've ever seen and it concerns the Mass Games in NK.
posted by josher71 at 12:55 PM on December 19, 2011


North Korean TV Announces Kim Jong-il's Death
posted by nickyskye at 1:00 PM on December 19, 2011


Seems like they intentionally echoed Kim Il Sung's death announcment. Even used the same announcer.
posted by zennie at 1:11 PM on December 19, 2011


That announcer is Ri Chun-Hee. She mysteriously disappeared from the air since Oct. 19, but reappeared to announce Kim Jong-Il's death.
posted by needled at 1:32 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


And Cheney, a democratically elected official

Bwahahahaha. Yeah, if you call having your fellow travelers on the Supreme Court assist you in stealing an election "democratic" I guess you have a point.

Dick Cheney is an unindicted (so far) war criminal. If he could have been a military dictator of the US, he would have preferred it, and he could hardly have done any more damage.
posted by spitbull at 1:47 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


An oldie but goodie:

Kim Jong Il (the illmatic)'s LiveJournal
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:49 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I subscribe to a lot of gardening catalogs (and therefore their e-mail marketing lists), and the e-mail that just came into my inbox is too freaky not to share here. This is from Plant Delights Nursery, an independent nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina, who not only consistently manage to make the text descriptions in their catalogs interesting and even funny, but always have some interesting inside-baseball tidbits about the horticulture world in their e-mails. And today they had a doozy:
"Finally, the strangest of the plantsmen to pass away this month has to be North Korea’s Kim Jong Il...yes, you heard me right. The story goes back several years, when the late Dutch plant breeder Kees Sahin, who was friend of Kim’s dad, was visiting North Korea with Japanese plant breeder Motoderu Kamo. Kamo gave the elder Kim one his begonia hybrids, which was subsequently named Begonia ‘Kimjongilia’ for Kim Jong Il’s 46th birthday. Kim was so taken with the begonia, that he declared begonias the National Flower of North Korea. After supplying Kim with more begonia genetics, Kim Jong Il began what would become the largest begonia breeding project in the world. According to Kees, Kim would fly over his begonia fields in his helicopter and make his final selections from the air. At the time of Kim Jung Il’s death, there were sprawling greenhouse complexes all across North Korea, all for the purpose of housing Kim’s massive begonia collection. For international begonia shows, Kim would fly his prize begonia hybrids to the show with one person holding each begonia in the back of a cargo plane, to keep from damaging the plants. Also, according to Kees, Kim’s head begonia breeder became so renowned internationally, that Kim had him killed for upstaging the Dear Leader. As Dave Barry liked to say...I am not making this up!"
This story has it all: massive ego, capricious whims, terrible wasting of resources that could have helped his starving people (can you imagine if those begonia greenhouses had grown food instead?), attempts to have the rest of the world recognize his genius, and of course flat-out murder. Yep, that sounds like Kim Jong Il to me.

Perhaps someone ought to cultivate a variation of that begonia called "Free Korea".
posted by Asparagirl at 1:49 PM on December 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I know that no one really knows anything at this point, but I do wonder...

Let's say that, however improbably, a military coup occurs tries to reunite with South Korea, dropping Juche for something much more practical. Would South Korea be amenable to something like this? How would South Korea's economy fare after having to adopt its extremely wounded brother to the North?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:02 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


For folks wondering about the emotion shown in mourning, I have to add to the recommendations to read Nothing to Envy. It's been a while since I read it, but I do remember that several of the people profiled in the book talk about the aftermath of the death of Kim Il Sung. Sounded like a mix of genuine emotion, infectious mass hysteria, and faked enthusiasm.

Overall, it was an amazing book; as one of my friends put it, it reads a bit like post-apocalyptic fiction.
posted by epersonae at 2:07 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Recent reports received by Amnesty International suggest that the North Korean government has purged possibly hundreds of officials deemed to be a threat to Kim Jong-un's succession, by having them executed or sent to political prison camps."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:21 PM on December 19, 2011


Ew. Here's hoping those reports are mistaken.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:26 PM on December 19, 2011


Kim Jong Il Remembered As 'Team America' Star.
posted by ericb at 2:34 PM on December 19, 2011


2011: Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-Il

You guys are gonna freak when you find out they were Raptured.
posted by Brak at 2:38 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cigars, Cognac and Mass Starvation: 10 Facts about a Secretive Nation.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


18 holes in one? Yeah that'd be ridiculous, absurd. A complete & total fabrication somebody made up to make him look bad. It was only 11.

Actually, the best source I can find suggests it was five. Interesting to see how the story inflated over time.

Can anyone point to a discussion taking place on the mental awareness of the average North Korean - awareness of how much their country sucks in comparison to anything. Are they oblivious and truly believe greatness has now died?

I talked with a North Korean refugee a couple of years ago - nice guy, but like most refugees he tended to say what he had learned people liked to hear and was from near the Chinese border, so not especially representative. As I wrote above, we can't be sure what the mindset of the average North Korean is. Many are just desperate to survive and going on with whatever helps them do that. Most have very limited knowledge about the outside world; how would they get an accurate understanding? A lot believe that North Korea is racially superior to all other nations - read some Brian Myers for more about this.

The weeping in public thing is weird as hell. It shows how much of a cult the whole thing is there. It's like a nationwide, government sanctioned cult.

I really don't see crying in public as inherently strange. Here's a Czech woman crying over the death of Václav Havel. Here are South Korean children and adults crying at the failure of an Olympic bid.

Finally, as promised, I spoke to my contact who knew/met a lot of Korea experts (Lankov, Myers) and attended classified intelligence briefings on the situation there about the comment on Reddit. This contact pretty much agreed that the comment was fairly accurate, but that it's not at all certain that the US would object so strongly to increased Chinese influence in the DPRK and that Russia is not that bothered about arms sales to the north, it just wants stability. Reading what the Reddit guy has posted since, I am on the fence about how well-connected he really is. He's stating everything as fact when it would be more accurate to flag certain claims as 'likely' or 'assumed'. He could be in intelligence, but if so he is probably peripheral and pretty young. Still interesting, but just one point of view.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:46 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, I didn't even know he was il.
posted by jefbla at 3:38 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's say that, however improbably, a military coup occurs tries to reunite with South Korea, dropping Juche for something much more practical. Would South Korea be amenable to something like this? How would South Korea's economy fare after having to adopt its extremely wounded brother to the North?

Nthing Nothing to Envy. This is another topic discussed in that book. According to it, all North Koreans are considered citizens of South Korea (assuming they can escape). When someone escapes, all they have to do is make it to South Korea, and they'll be provided with the tools/education/etc to survive. (Not that it's easy, or that the government's attempts fulfill all the escapee's needs. But, it's not nothing, either.) The book also mentions that there have been a few reports about what would happen to South Korea's economy, were North Korea to fall. In short, it wouldn't be good. Instead of just having to help out the trickle of those who are able to get out, they would instead have an entire country of starving refugees with terrifyingly little working infrastructure who have been raised to hate outsiders.

Of course, I don't know anything. I'm just reporting what I remember from a book I read a while ago. What you should really take from this is, the book is awesome and you should read it.
posted by meese at 3:49 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I'm recalling a lot of worry about German unification too. While that was definitely filled with difficulties, it seemed to work out okay in the end (er, at least, from what I have seen, am not expert on inter-German relations). I guess the NK/SK gulf is much greater but perhaps there is nevertheless cause for optimism.
posted by zomg at 4:33 PM on December 19, 2011


It cost them a lot of money. An awful lot of money. They may never quite recover from that.
posted by Artw at 4:35 PM on December 19, 2011


The comparisons to Germany seem apt - it'll be like German reunification, but much more difficult. While East Germany was certainly a police state, it didn't have the mass starvation and hardline personality cult of North Korea. East Germany was generally in much better shape than North Korea is today, and even then, reunification was expensive, and former East Germany is still extremely weak. I remember reading a factoid about how, of the top 100 business centers and top 100 industrial centers in Germany, not a single one is in former East Germany.

So, yeah. It looks like there is going to be some incredible whiplash when (if?) North Korea collapses, for all of Korea.

That said, I'll definitely check out Nothing to Envy.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2011


That chosun live video feed is live again. Lots of people weeping hysterically.
posted by jquinby at 4:50 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think even Sticherbeast is underestimating how difficult reunification would be. North Korean refugees have immense cultural and linguistic challenges integrating into South Korean society. I've been told that the languages of the two nations have evolved so differently over the past 60 years, that the only common ground now is the writing system.

Also, I'm not sure there's the political will to reunify in South Korea. As an abstract idea, yes, but South Koreans are pretty new to being a prosperous nation themselves, and most seemed pretty reluctant to jeopardize that.
posted by peppermind at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2011


Yep we have those too. They're called televisions.

we? - i don't have one - furthermore, i doubt very much that the FBI is going to bust into my apartment and arrest me for not having one - furthermore, i doubt very much that you or i would even have the opportunity to discuss this issue online in north korea, much less be able to say what we thought about it
posted by pyramid termite at 5:13 PM on December 19, 2011


It cost them a lot of money. An awful lot of money. They may never quite recover from that.
Are you talking about German Reunification? Germany is the most powerful economy in the EU right now.

Of course SK/NK reunification would be much more costly. And I think the typical South Korean would be pretty worried about what kind of politicians they would get letting everyone in NK vote in their elections. It would be better if NK stayed an independent democratic country for a while.
posted by delmoi at 5:44 PM on December 19, 2011


To be honest, I don't like the idea of suddenly switching North Korea over to full-on independent democracy. No one with governmental experience exists in North Korea who has not also drank the proverbial Kool-Aid of Juche. The populace has existed in a starved, tortured haze for decades. If a collapse should occur, North Korea will need help to get strong enough to last on its own without simply finding another demagogue, or turning into another sort of poisonous state. Look at what happened to much of the former Soviet Union. If left to rot, North Korea could easily become another Belarus, or worse.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:53 PM on December 19, 2011


Korean reunification is pretty much a fantasy.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2011


North Korea will need help to get strong enough to last on its own without simply finding another demagogue, or turning into another sort of poisonous state. Look at what happened to much of the former Soviet Union. If left to rot, North Korea could easily become another Belarus, or worse.
Yeah, there would have to be safeguards in place. I was thinking this could all be under the 'supervision' of SK. You have to figure out a way to gradually bring them up to SKs level before unification.
posted by delmoi at 6:25 PM on December 19, 2011


Korean reunification is pretty much a fantasy.

Ya, China would never allow that to happen.
posted by rosswald at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2011


The Atlantic's In Focus on Kim Jong Il (curated by Mefi's own kokogiak)
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:34 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a link to North Korean state TV. I had to open it with VLC to get it to work:

http://112.170.78.145:50000/chosun


There is some dramatic narration and landscapes going on right now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2011


> The Atlantic's In Focus on Kim Jong Il (curated by Mefi's own kokogiak)

I refuse to believe that numer 6 is an amusement park ride and not his own actual personal armed dictator rocket sleigh.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 PM on December 19, 2011


North Korea releases official picture of new leader Kim Jong Un. <>
posted by nickyskye at 9:32 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Btw does this guy have a title yet? Kim Jong il was "Dear Leader" and his dad was "Great Leader". What's this guy getting called?
posted by delmoi at 9:43 PM on December 19, 2011


The Great Successor
posted by KokuRyu at 9:43 PM on December 19, 2011


(no I am not making that up)
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Great Successor

That sounds not so Great, somehow.
posted by longsleeves at 10:34 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great Leader, Dear Leader—What’s Next?

"Kim Il-sung was known to North Koreans as the “Great Leader.” His son and successor Kim Jong-il was “Dear Leader.” Will the next successor, Kim Jong-un, be a Great Leader, a Dear Leader, or some other kind of leader altogether? Who’s in charge of deciding which adjective to apply to North Korea’s dictator?"

Turns out it's the Department of Propaganda and Agitation. I wonder how they come up with the name that sticks. Focus groups?
posted by Kevin Street at 12:09 AM on December 20, 2011


You know, timing the death for the end of December is kind of a dick move. It's a blatant attempt to get on the "top stories of 2011" charts.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:56 AM on December 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Btw does this guy have a title yet?

Given the devaluing trend evident from the previous two, my money's on "OK Leader". (Or, given his alleged facility with programming, and with apologies to Radiohead, "OK Computer".)
posted by Philofacts at 4:22 AM on December 20, 2011


The Great Successor

This would be more morally accurate if they stopped after only three syllables.
posted by JHarris at 5:43 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


And re: honorifics for Kim Jong Il:

     Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven ...

... and continues on the downward trend.
posted by mazola at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will North Korea Become China’s Newest Province?
posted by homunculus at 5:14 PM on December 20, 2011


There are worse outcomes, no? A North Korea adopted and subsumed by China would be an improvement on the status quo. It certainly would mean an improvement in quality of life for North Koreans.
posted by Flashman at 7:24 PM on December 20, 2011


Dear Leader your breath is so fresh.
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 PM on December 20, 2011


Phil Hansen's portrait of Kim Jong Il, on bandages, painted with his own blood.
posted by nickyskye at 8:39 PM on December 20, 2011


"I knew he was Kim Jong Il, I didn't know he was Kim Jong Dead."
posted by Elysum at 3:56 AM on December 21, 2011


MetaFilter: OMG are we now arguing about the accepted semantic meaning of a fucking dot?
posted by Jaybo at 10:12 AM on December 21, 2011


After watching an NHK special on North Korea just now, all I can is Kim Jong-Un is one ugly fucker.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:12 AM on December 23, 2011


In my view, the new leadership structure under Kim Jong Un will only last between six to 12 months, and at most three years.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:21 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


After watching an NHK special on North Korea just now, all I can is Kim Jong-Un is one ugly fucker.

And the baddest delinquent at Cromartie High School.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:42 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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