69 years ago today, the Dear Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, was born on Mount Paektu, heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain, or so the story goes according to his official biographers.
Beginning Feb 12, massive state-orchestrated celebrations have overtaken the capital city of Pyongyang, complete with dance spectaculars, sports performances, speeches praising him and millions of North Korean won worth of fireworks blown up in the sky (see video after the jump).
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), official mouthpiece of the DPRK government, has, in the meanwhile got its propaganda machine into full swing. It informs us, for instance, that Kim’s birthday has been celebrated around the world (even in Palestine!), and that foreigners everywhere, from Spain to the UK and even the US (!), have been praising him, calling him the “sun shining in the 21st century with the same brightness and warmth as the sun of Kim Il Sung gave”.
While the rest of the world was busy celebrating Valentine’s Day on Feb 14, the day was marked in North Korea with the opening of the 15th Kimjongilia Festival, named after a special breed of flowers created and named after Kim, as people tripped over themselves to offer floral baskets to the Dear Leader.
Kim Jong-Chul looking ecstatic to be at Eric Clapton’s concert in Singapore
On the same day, apparently, paparazzi in Singapore spotted Kim Jong-Chul, the second eldest son of Kim Senior, attending a live concert by Eric Clapton, with an entourage of dozens of men and women. Passed over for leadership because his dad thinks he’s too “effeminate”, Jong-Chul has long been known as an Eric Clapton fanboy. According to a Wikileaks cable, the former U.S. ambassador to Korea, Alexander Vershbow, wrote that the regime had tried to invite the singer to do a concert in Pyongyang, only to be turned down by Clapton.
The power transfer to Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, has been backed by the Chinese, reports KCNA. In his recent visit, Meng Jianzhu, the Chinese Minister of Public Security, is said to have “warmly congratulated” Kim Jong-Il on his re-election in September as ruling communist party general secretary, and son Kim Jong-Un on his election as vice-chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission. Meng also hailed “the successful solution of the issue of succession to the Korean revolution”, said the news agency in a blunt reference to the question of who will take over as the eventual successor of Kim Jong-Il.
See report by CCTV News: