Those who are anointed as supreme leaders from birth are rarely tempted to be thoughtful human beings.
Another anointed supreme leader of North Korea has emerged this week to continue the great works of his father and grandfather.
Japan occupied Korea during World War II. When the war ended in 1945, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel with the USSR controlling the north and the USA controlling the south. The Koreans were not consulted.
While the Korean people were happy to be liberated from the Japanese, they objected to foreign rule being imposed over the peninsula. To make matter worse, the Soviets and Americans were unable to agree on a joint trusteeship over Korea. Thus, in 1948, separate governments were established in the north and the south.
Tensions and border skirmishes eventually led to the Korean War in 1950 when the North Korean Army stormed across the 38th parallel in an attempt to reunify the country under their communistic political system.
In 1953, an armistice was signed by North Korea, China and the United Nations thereby ending the conflict. A demilitarized zone was established at the 38th parallel, separating North Korea and South Korea ever since.
North Korea was led by Kim Il-Sung from 1948 until his death in 1994. He had delegated domestic matters to his son, Kim Jong-Il.
In 1997, Kim Jong-Il was named General Secretary (leader) of the Korean Worker's Party.
According to the official North Korean news agency, "The Korean people regard it as their most worthwhile life to uphold Secretary Kim Jong-Il and live in perfect harmony with him. He is the great teacher who teaches them with the noblest political integrity and a tender-hearted benefactor who brings their life into full bloom. As they are in harmonious whole with him, they are enjoying a life based on true conscience and obligation."
Gee whiz, North Korea sounds like a wonderful place to live. It's too bad they had to kill an estimated two million civilians and imprison 200,000 "dissidents" in slave labor camps, where they are tortured, starved, raped and murdered, in order to create a perfectly splendid environment.
In a closed-society, adhering to universal truths and seeking individuality become acts of treason. Such is life in a harmonious whole.
Officially, North Korea is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). However, it's anything but democratic. It's a totalitarian state, dominated by the Korean Worker's Party which embraces Marxism-Leninism.
Elections are held every five years for members of the People's Assembly. To avoid confusion, in every district voters are offered only one candidate.
Kim Jong-Il had been the leader of the DPRK ever since his father died in 1994. He stood 5'2", but wore platform shoes and whipped his hair skyward to make himself appear taller.
While building the fifth-largest military in the world, he ravaged the economy with political mismanagement -- creating famine, fuel shortages, lack of electricity, etc. To make up for it, mass "performances" involving throngs of people participating in parades or choreographed dance routines were introduced to foster national unity.
To generate income, the DPRK encouraged opium cultivation and invested $10 million in an intaglio printing press, the same type used by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which produced $15 million per year in counterfeit U.S. currency. The drugs and counterfeit currency were passed through foreign nations via diplomatic pouches.
As the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-Il had amassed a personal fortune of $22 billion. Although his people were dying of starvation, he dined on fresh lobster shipped in from Japan and enjoyed fine cognac. He also loved children's cartoons, especially Daffy Duck, and had one of the largest collections of pornography in the world.
While grooming one of his sons to take his place, he seized and confined all triplets born in the DPRK in special state facilities to be closely monitored because he believed a triplet may someday topple his regime.
Kim Jong-Il was an arrogant, creepy, delusional, paranoid, deranged lunatic. On December 17, 2011, he died of heart failure at age 69.
Soon thereafter, Kim Jong-Il's youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, in his late 20s, was introduced by the official North Korean news agency as their new supreme ruler, calling him "the outstanding leader of our party, army and people" and have named him "the Great Successor."
Perhaps he will also inherit his father's Daffy Duck cartoons and extensive collection of pornography.
When delusional fanatics are at the top, there is no limit to the oppression.
Quote for the Day – "One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution -- one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship." George Orwell
Bret Burquest is the author of 7 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY and ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where the only cure for cynicism is counter-cynicism.