North Korea is one of the most terrifying and corrupt dictatorships on the planet. The laundry list of human rights violations and abuses of its citizens is too extensive to attempt to describe here. But even more than it’s a horrible, degrading place, it’s also, in a blackly comical sort of way, surreally funny. It’s like a continuous farcical show, where every social policy and cultural norm appears utterly ass-backwards to us in the West.
Like any cult of personality worth its salt, the opinion of Korean citizens on the subject of their leader is (forcibly) divorced from reality, as well as being really, really creepy. It’s like the whole nation has been forced at gunpoint to become Kim Jong Un’s obsessive stalker. While still alive, previous dictator Kim Jong-il was regarded as being like some kind of messiah, but now, after his death, the state-sanctioned reverence of the man has gone completely insane.
As the government controls every minute aspect of North Korean life, education is completely skewed and biased beyond all logic. Even now the next generation of young Koreans is being indoctrinated into venerating the regime by learning these impossible “facts” about Kim Jong-il. They make Chuck Norris facts look tame.
For starters, completely fabricated trivia about the Kim dynasty is a subject by itself, and the one that gets most attention. A typical timetable looks like this: math, chemistry, ditch-digging, double-period Kim Jong-il studies and home-economics. The reason for this is that the list of Kim Jong-il’s (full title: Party Centre, Dear Leader, Shining Star of Paektu Mountain, Sun of the Communist Future) supposed achievements would take about 143 textbooks to document.
According to a study by the Korea Institute for Curriculum Evaluation, each schoolchild learns about the lives of Kim Jong-il and Jong-Un for 684 hours during the curriculum, and what they learn sounds more like a fairytale cooked up by an acid freak. For example, school textbooks claim that Kim Jong-Un literally had the power to turn back time. Yeah, supposedly the Time Lord tyrant genuinely turned back the clocks 30 minutes to repel the Japanese occupation of 1919.
It’s also alleged that Kim Jong-il was born on Mount Paektu at his father’s secret base in 1942 and that his birth was heralded by a swallow, caused winter to change to spring, a star to illuminate the sky and a double rainbow spontaneously appeared. If that’s not impressive enough, he’s also credited with the invention of the hamburger. Known for being a master golfer and the most fashionable man to have ever lived.
So according to North Korean sources, the late, great and glorious leader, Father of the People, Bright Sun of Juche, Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven, never once used a toilet in his life. That’s right. Kim Jong-il was so great that he never needed to defecate. Either he was skilled enough to digest every particle of every meal he ate, or else could just teleport his waste straight out of his body, probably right into the Oval Office. Unbelievable.
But while we might joke about the ridiculousness of these claims, we can never forget that they’re backed up through the threat of torture and death camps. We can mock the regime all we want, but bear in mind that North Korea is a dangerous and Jingoistic state, whose nuclear capacity makes them a rightly-feared enemy of the free world.