Kim Jong-un limped his way on stage at his grandfather's memorial ceremony today. It's not clear what his injury is — maybe he's just being dramatic — but it's surprising that state TV captured his apparent weakness.
When North Korea announced it had sentenced imprisoned American tour operator Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor earlier this month, it gave no details about his crime other than he had attempted to "overthrow" the North Korean government. But now North Korea has presented more details about Bae's crime: They say he smuggled anti-government propaganda into the country, and preached the overthrow of regime as part of a Christian missionary-backed plan called "Operation Jericho."
In a recent interview with Finnish journalist (and former United Nations undersecretary general) Elisabeth Rehn, Kim Han-sol, the grandson of deceased North Korean looker-at-things Kim Jong Il, called his Uncle Kim Jong-un a "dictator." Despite the obviousness of the statement, this is big news because, well, there probably aren't too many people in his family willing to say shit like that in public, if at all.
His magisterial highness the beloved democratic leader KIM JONG-UN today happily ruled over the smiling people's kingdom of the DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, where great tributes and praise for the beloved memory of the late heroic kindly leader of the people in perpetuity KIM JONG-IL, father of beloved current leader of the happily satisfied people and animals alike KIM JONG-UN, are routinely the order of the day. In what way was the memory of the highest imperial democratic inspiration KIM JONG-IL praised today, by the industrious citizens of the world, according to the DPRK's official news agency?
The internet is aflame with rumors, launched by Chinese micro-blog users, that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated in Beijing this morning. We believe we've figured out what's behind the rumor, and it has more to do with a birthday celebration for Kim Jong-un's dead dad than a violent coup.
The late Kim Jong-il's oldest son, the Ferragamo-wearing Chad Kim Jong-nam, lost out on a power struggle with his youngest brother, Kim Jong-un, years ago, and has since spent most of his time in Macau and China, doing whatever it is international playboy dictator relatives do. (Eat, apparently.) Not that he's jealous, or anything — no, he just likes to tell Japanese reporters that his younger brother is going to fail for completely different reasons.
Remember this disturbing video of North Koreans sobbing over Kim Jong-il's death? Shocking to think this, I know, but those people mayyyyy not have been entirely genuine in their mourning. Because, you know, the government reportedly sends people who don't weep or mourn publicly to labor-training camps.
When Kim Jong-Il died Saturday he was on a train finishing up one of his frequent "field guidance tours," which are famous on the internet for the surreal photos they produced of Kim looking at everyday objects. Here are photos taken during the last stop on Kim's last tour, about two days before his death.