"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)
Shin Sang-ok (1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
North Korea's concentration camps reportedly contain over half a million citizens, and is possibly one of the worst cases of systematic human rights abuses occurring in the world today. Ahn Myong Chol, an ex-prison guard, describes the conditions of the inmates of Camp 22, in objective and chilling detail. On medical experiments being performed on prisoners: "....the glass chamber has 3 main subdivisions: one is for blood experiments, another is for poison gas, and the third is for suffocation gas. 3 or 4 people, normally a family, are experimented on. The scientists sit around the edge and watch from above...". [more inside]
DearLeaderFilter: We had Turkmenbashi and his enlightened laws , we heard Karl Rove cry of appreciation when watching the fantastic propaganda of the most precious dear leader Kim Jong Il and elder people will remember a 2 meters tall black dictator Idi Amin Dada as one of the weirdest and most paranoid. But did you know about Mswati III of Swaziland, the second of 210 sons of the elderly King Sobhuza II ? Every year he gets to check out 40000 bare breasted, machete wielding maidens and eventually pick a new wife.
Kim Jong Il's Ringtones and Wallpaper and other fine, fashionable accessories for your digital lifestyle. (via waxy.org.)