Phnom Penh mourned today at news of the death of North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Il. Though there were no real outward signs detectable to the naked eye, there was presumably an unmistakable grief, deep in the cockles of every Khmer person's heart. Cambodia and the DPRK have had a history of good relations, the details of which we will not get into for fear of a late-night knock on the door... but needless to say, things are officially very friendly between the two countries.
The North Korean Embassy. The Flag isn't quite at half staff. It's kind of in that grey area where you aren't sure if they've really heard the terrible news, or perhaps they couldn't bare to face the reality and only got it down a few inches before bursting in tears.
There were no announcements of the death of the Dear Leader at the embassy gates. Just a few old sun-bleached photos of Kim looking at this or that, and a tattered old statement of The General's great deeds. "In the Late 1990s when the country experienced grueling hardships due to the vicious schemes of the imperialists, Kim Jong Il paid close attention to the problems related to the improvement of the people's standard of living. He personally provided on-site guidance to solve knotty problems." The last part really choked me up.
Restaurant Pyongyang is a not-so-secret North Korean government facility, designed to help finance the country's activities in Cambodia. Its a sort of dinner theatre serving Kim Jong-Il's culinary favorites with authentic song and dance numbers, rumored to be choreographed by our Dear Leader himself. Only US Dollars accepted.
Sadly the restaurant was closed today, apparently in mourning for The Supreme Leader. Only this small sign hung on the large locked, red gates. I haven't worked out what it says yet. Hopefully they will open again soon.