October 4, 2008

Ill Kim needs a way in from the cold war

This is Peter Hitchens' Mail on Sunday column


Can it be a year since I was in North Korea, shamefully laying flowers at the feet of a giant image of the dead Great Leader, Kim Il Sung? Yes, it can.

I thought then, and I think now, that this bankrupt and hopeless country hasn’t got much longer to run.

The problem was and is that the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il, hasn’t got anybody to surrender to. The South Koreans don’t want to pay for rebuilding the North, which would wipe out their economy. George W.

Bush, always scanning the horizon for someone to be afraid of, needs to pretend that North Korea is a terrible threat to the USA.

And Kim fears that if he just steps down, and admits that the weird godless religion of
Kim-worship is a lie, he will probably be torn to pieces by the disillusioned, half-starved mob.

Is he dead? How would anybody know? In any case, being dead is not necessarily a disadvantage in North Korean politics. His father is dead, and is still the official ruler of the nation. Is he ill? I expect so.

He has not treated his body as a temple, and North Korean elite medicine (how can I put this?) relies rather too heavily on feeding the sick person the private parts of dogs.

I am more worried about how the North Koreans are. We, and especially the US, really should make it easier for them to rejoin the world.

It is cruel and pointless to continue the pretence that they are a menace to anyone but themselves.

No comments: