Thursday, January 28, 2010

"We cannot live away from his breast"

... is an official North Korean slogan about Kim Jong Il. It's included in a new book “The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves — and Why It Matters” by B.R. Myers. Here's a partial description of the book:

... he includes a fascinating analysis of Mr. Kim’s depiction as an essentially — and crucially — feminine military leader. His regime presents North Korea more as a motherland than a fatherland, Mr. Myers writes, and he cites official slogans about Mr. Kim like “We Cannot Live Away From His Breast.” The lack of a patriarchal authority figure, he says, “may also have helped the regime preserve stability by depriving people of a target to rebel against.”

Wow. North Korea is amazing.


Mr. Pony said...

I get endless enjoyment out of KJI's zany antics, but I don't envy anyone's state department in their having to deal with him. I certainly don't know a lot of the details, but he just seems like the kind of guy you don't deal with. I mean, nukes or not, it might just make more sense to ignore him.

I have a lot of sympathy for the North Korean people, too, but at the same time, it's hard not to write them off, like a tour group trapped in an elevator with a poison bear.

odori said...

Americans should pay far more attention to Kim Jong Il's eccentric behavior and the 200,000 prisoners he locks up for political reasons...

I've always been a little mystified at why American media doesn't cover North Korea more aggressively. Perhaps the stories are too strange for the reporters to wrap their brains around.

I also think U.S. media is generally more interested in Europe than Northeast Asia. That has something to do with it too.

I'd like to check out at east one of the books mentioned in this article. North Korea seems like a real-life Alice in Wonderland.