THE CULT OF THE SMILING ASSASSIN
NORTH KOREA, 1948-1994 1 MILLION KILLED
Next time you see posturing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on TV, threatening to nuke the United States from the world map, remember: it’s not his fault, it’s in his genes.
Jong-un is descended from a proud line of lunatics. While his father Kim Jong-il plunged the country into famine and ignored the basic human rights of his citizens, it’s Jong-il’s father Kim Ii-sung who claims family bragging rights as the biggest bastard of all the Kims.
After rising through the ranks of the Communist Korean Worker’s Party, Il-sung was installed as Prime Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic by Russian dictator Joseph Stalin in 1948, whose forces were occupying the Korean peninsula north of the 38th parallel. Il-sung’s communist buddies loaded him up with military hardware, which he promptly used to invade South Korea, a salvo which ignited a bloody three-year-long Korean War, leaving 2.5 million dead.
His aim was to unify the whole of Korea. That objective failed. But it didn’t stop Il-sung from claiming victory back home, a feat made easier by his vice-like grip over every facet of North Korean life.
Using Stalin as a benchmark, Il-sung made sure all TVS and radios were preset to one state-controlled channel or station. Those who peddled information outside official streams were jailed, tortured or executed by the secret police (who had set up an all-seeing, all-hearing network of spies). A system of labour camps were built to house those guilty of ‘political crimes’. Every industry was nationalised. Individuality and free thought were, in effect, eradicated.
And yet, incredibly, Il-sung was worshipped with god-like devotion in North Korea, thanks to what