"North Korea is a mythically strange land, an Absurdistan, where almost nothing is known about the people or, more important, their missile-launching leaders. There is, however, one man—a humble sushi chef from Japan—who infiltrated the inner sanctum, becoming the Dear Leader's cook, confidant, and court jester.
What is life like serving Kim Jong-il and his heir? A strange and dangerous gig where the food and drink never stop, the girls are all virgins, and you're never really safe." (via @stevesilberman)
posted by madamjujujive
on Jun 3, 2013 -
Former Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il
was a noted cinephile
with a personal video library of over 20,000 movies. In 1970, he said "The motion picture industry, when dealing with the socialist reality, has not yet reached the standard set by our Party."
To help it reach the standard, the Dear Leader wrote a treatise On the Art of the Cinema
(PDF), took an interest in minute details of film production (as recounted by film stars
), revamped the Taedongmun Cinema House
, and kidnapped a director (previously 1
But did this lead to better movies?.... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet
on May 10, 2013 -
Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam, who is the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, the recently deceased North Korean dictator. In this English interview for Finnish TV with former United Nations Under-Secretary General Elisabeth Rehn, he talks about his life, refers to his uncle and current DPRK Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Eun, as a 'dictator,' and says he never met his grandfather. [Part 1
(interview begins at 1:35)] [Part 2
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken
on Oct 18, 2012 -
Hitch reads up on North Korea
: "I have recently donned the bifocals provided by B.R. Myers
in his electrifying new book The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters
, and I understand now that I got the picture either upside down or inside out. The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent "Constitution," "ratified" last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian "military first" mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia." Read the first chapter here.
posted by ocherdraco
on Feb 2, 2010 -