Seoul Village: "Since I'm not coming out alive from this meeting, I might as well cut the ceremonial crap and go for a first-name basis. So thanks for accepting this interview, Jong-un."
Kim Jong-un: "I should make your death even more painful for that but actually, it's a nice break from the bootlickers' routine, so let's keep it informal. Cigar, Coke?"
SV: "No thanks, I don't smoke, and coffee will do. So you're drinking that imperialist brand?"
KJU: "I was not talking drinks - our elites are growing tired of meth, and our labs working on new lines of products (no pun intended). North Korea must target markets with higher margins."
SV: "I see... You're starting to integrate step by step capitalist notions into the system."
KJU: "Exactly: myself, I indulge in free market all the time - I seize, and no one objects."
SV: "Certainly not JANG Sung-taek, now..."
KJU: "No one was taking me seriously, see? I detonated a frigging nuclear bomb, and all I got was a slap on the wrist - as if I were just a brat playing with firecrackers! The other day I asked China if I could visit, and they wouldn't talk to me, even after I threatened to have another nuclear test. So I discarded the old fart, and the next day they asked me if I wanted an unlimited visa."
SV: "Speaking of China, the way you humiliated your uncle in public was not very Confucian".
KJU: "But in the end, he was the one crying uncle! And you want to talk about Confucianism? From the start, this guy was impervious to the "rectification of names" - look how you Westerners CHANG Sung-taeked, JANG Seong-taeked, or JANG Sung-thaeked him depending on where the wind blew from, when you were not Chang Sŏngt'aeking in the pure McMuffin Whatever tradition."
KJU: "Bless you. So I rectified his name alright. He thought he was the big boss, the one granting favors and pulling strings, but I showed them all that no one was above me, that any head could roll anytime. Read that KCNA news flash? Watched that video? Boy we performed a textbook purge to make Uncle Joe proud. I even had my Minister of Photoshop re-read 'Darkness at noon' before airbrushing the old geezer out from all the documents."
SV: "You read Koestler?"
KJU: "Nah, my nanny read me the story when I was a kid. Dad wanted me to know the ropes, and a lot of our technology transfer came from people like Uxley, Koestler, or Solzhenitsyn. Myself, I don't read books, and my favorite theoreticians are Al and Bob."
KJU: "Pacino's Scarface, de Niro's Capone. Now these guys knew how to make a splash with a purge. Straight to the point, you know, unlike them 'car accidents' - you'd be amazed to learn how much they cost us in spare parts."
|What, Me Worry? - JANG Sung-taek|
SV: "After the purge, you republished scores of dad-and-son pictures of the 3 generations of KIM to reassert your legitimacy. Now that you've cut a whole branch from the family tree, it's between you and your bros for the 'royal' bloodline. I presume you took care of your aunt as well."
KJU: "No sweat, man. Last year, I had KIM Kyong-hui stuffed by a taxidermist, and her husband never saw the difference. My brothers? Jong-chul's a sissy, and Jong-nam's softer than tofu. And he likes casinos - actually, the thing we wrote about JANG and casinos? I was also sending a message to Mickey Mouse: 'stay put, bro, don't take your chances, or I'll get you'. I'll get him anyway: Beijing's able to use him as a puppet 'Last Emperor', should anything happen to me."
SV: "Do you think Beijing will dump you?"
KJU: "Right now, we're talking the same language. See how hardliners tightened the screws around their last Plenum? New ADIZ, new JDIZ..."
KJU: "Journalist Defense Identification Zone: if foreign journos get too nosy, they're out of the game. Anyway, regarding North Korea, Beijing was more than happy to have one interlocutor instead of one and a half: it's already complicated for them to cope with different currents at home."
SV: "But one of the key factors of success of your dictatorship was the improbable balance of power you've been brutalizing ever since you got the job."
KJU: "Look. Politics and court intrigues have never been my thing, and long talks give me headaches. During my first meeting as the new boss, I kept expecting the five minute break, but it never came and it almost drove me crazy."
SV: "The five minute break?"
KJU: "You know, usually, when big guys meet, like in the NBA or the NFL, they cut every five minutes so you can get some popcorn or go to the johns. Here, I had to pee in my glass and to kill three people to get some attention. No, I really don't care about politics, and I'll outsource in China if needed - actually, the decision to remove uncle ST was taken during their Plenum. Military first, party first, Pyongyang first, entrepreneurs first... my job is not to make other people happy, you know? The way I see things is simpler: I decide, they execute, and sometimes I decide to execute them."
SV: "After all these purges, you're bound to face some HR challenges, and by that I mean Human Resources, not Human Rights. Do you trust your new guys?"
KJU: "I'm sick and tired of posing with a background of old garden gnomes in uniform with overgrown hats. During his first visit, Dennis Rodman didn't even notice that he'd stepped on four of them - he confused the poor guys with the garden step stones, with their round hats and all. No, I don't trust my new guys, but at least when I invite them to ski or to ride horses, they don't drop dead after two minutes."
|KIM Jong-un the Mirimboro man, showing horse power.|
SV: "Masikryong ski resort, Mirim horse riding club, Munsu water park... what next?"
KJU: "We count a lot on tourism to bring cash. Our infrastructures suck, but people are ready to pay a premium for the thrill of visiting a real life dictatorship. Why wait for the end of the regime to cash on dark tourism? Our next project is an extension of Camp 14, and we're considering adding public executions to our Mass Games shows."
SV: "Any plan for reunification?"
KJU: "The question of leadership remains the main issue, but yes, talks are well under way with Bashar al Assad."
SV: "Thank you, Jong-un, for this rare glimpse into your troubled mind."
Seoul Village 2013
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