Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Today I visited the North Korean government's other bastion of repressive good will, the Pyongyang Koryo. This Kimchi House With Nuclear Hospitality is yet another facility used by the Kim dynasty to finance overseas activities. By the looks of it, the North Koreans run a number of other 'hospitality' businesses in the area, besides restaurants...
If I'm not mistaken this is a 'the restaurant is closed till further notice' sign. The original Restaurant Pyongyang was also closed again today, with a similar sign.
Back at the North Korean Embassy, the flag continued to wave about 4/5 staff. Not really half mast--more like 2/3 of a meter (or 66cm) from the tip. Nowhere were wreaths hung, memorial photos or any kind of tokens to express grief or condolences. There was no movement inside the compound or embassy building--at least that could be seen from the street through the wide-open doors. It appeared that while the minions in North Korea wailed and pounded tables for the cameras, the overseas diplomats and emissaries of good will all took a holiday. I hear 'Puss in Boots' is playing at City Mall. Perhaps they all took in a matinée.
Kim Jong-Il, Vladimir Lenin & Ho Chi Minh, along with other leaders like Mao Tse Tung & Kim Il Sung, all get 'special treatment' after they pass on.
Like all the great socialist dictatorships, North Korea now faces an important choice in moving forward after Kim's death: brine, bread & butter, or kosher dill?
Trivia: According to The Korea Times, the embalming of Kim Sr. originally cost US$1 million, with an anual US$ 800,000 maintenance fee. Like Ho Chi Minh & Lenin, Kim is taken off display periodically for touch-ups. Its believed the other leaders are equally high-maintenance and similarly expensive. It is rumored that the corpses are all shrinking at varying rates.