How Sincere Was the Grief Shown at the Death of Kim Jong-il?

January 11th, 2012

By Dan Miller

Some of it probably came not from the heart.

North Koreas Cry for Kim Jong-il (AP)

The Daily NK is a generally reliable Seoul-based publication about what’s happening in North Korea.  Today, in an article headlined Harsh Punishments for Poor Mourning, it observed,

The North Korean authorities have completed the criticism sessions which began after the mourning period for Kim Jong Il and begun to punish those who transgressed during the highly orchestrated mourning events.

Daily NK learned from a source from North Hamkyung Province on January 10th, “The authorities are handing down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn’t participate in the organized gatherings during the mourning period, or who did participate but didn’t cry and didn’t seem genuine.”

Most of the videos and photos of mourning came from Pyongyang, where residence is generally restricted to those thought loyal to the Kim Regime.

Furthermore, the source added that people who are accused of circulating rumors criticizing the country’s 3rd generation dynastic system are also being sent to re-education camps or being banished with their families to remote rural areas. …

Along with criticism sessions, the authorities also turned up the heat on efforts to idolize Kim Jong Eun immediately after the mourning period ended, something which has yet to let up. “Every day from 7am until 7pm they have vehicles for broadcast propaganda parked on busy roads full of people going to and from work, noisily working to proclaim Kim Jong Eun’s greatness,” the source explained.

I wonder whether the training camps will provide onions to help the inmates do better in the future.

It has also been reported, this time by the North Korean state media, that upon learning of Kim Jong-il’s death, hundreds of magpies hovered around a statue of his father, the Eternal President, as though telling him the sad news of the death of his beloved son. But wait; there’s more:

KCNA reported last week that a family of bears who usually hibernate through the fierce Korean winter had been seen lamenting Kim Jong-il’s death. “The bears, believed to be a mother and cubs, were staying on the road, crying woefully,” it said.

If the birds, bears and probably even the little bees do it, why can’t all other North Koreans happily do the same?

(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)


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3 Responses to “How Sincere Was the Grief Shown at the Death of Kim Jong-il?”



  1. Tom Carter |

    How could anyone question the sincerity of the outpouring of public grief we saw on TV?

    Just think what will happen if President Obama is defeated in November (insha’Allah)? Will magpies (or some other kind of pesky birds) circle his father’s grave in Kenya? Or maybe his drunk-driving illegal alien step-uncle’s house in Massachusetts? Or maybe his U.S. supporters will riot and burn down their neighborhoods — that’s a lot easier than training a bunch of unruly magpies.

    For all of the above I most humbly beg forgiveness and absolution….


  2. Dan Miller |

    Forgiveness and absolution are hereby granted, my son, provided that you eat a pound of kimchi and immediately thereafter fall down in worshipful obedience to the Great Kim.


  3. Tom Carter |

    I’ve often wondered about how it happened that the eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was passed over in favor of the little chubby guy. Check this:

    His father was Dear Leader, his younger half-brother brother is now the Great Successor, and he, apparently, is the Great Nuthin. Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s longtime dictator who died in December, is believed to spend much of his time in the casinos of Macau, a Chinese territory.

    Kim Jong Nam also apparently has been talking at length to a Japanese journalist for a book due out in Japan on January 20, according to the Japan Times.

    Might be an interesting book….


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