Now for something completely different in North Korea

By Nick Macfie

SEOUL (BestGrowthStock) – North Korea’s shrill state news agency, which outsiders have to rely on to try to understand what makes the reclusive country tick, never fails to surprise with snippets of information about “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il.

While it rarely misses a chance to hit out at the United States as a mother of all war-mongering imperialists, the Korean Central News Agency, voice the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also likes to vary the tone.

On Thursday, for instance, it revealed that Kim summoned a doctor. In 1973.

“Coming into the leader’s office, the doctor saw boxes of medicines piled up there,” the agency said.

“After opening some of the boxes, Kim Jong-il explained the usage and efficacy of the medicines to the doctor. The doctor was amazed to find he had a deep medical knowledge.”

Kim then guided the doctor to another room to show him an electrocardiograph and other medical appliances.

“He said they were valuable things even big hospitals lacked and that it would be good to send them to a gymnasium now under reconstruction.”

Kim’s knowledge doesn’t stop at medicine. He provided field guidance to light industrial factories in Hamhung, KCNA said on Wednesday. First stop was the Paekunsan Combined Foodstuff Factory.

“After learning in detail about the production of varieties of special foodstuffs produced at the factory, he was very pleased that it became possible to supply greater quantities of tasty and nutritious foodstuffs to the people.”

Kim is credited with all sorts of achievements by North Korean media, including making pear and apricot trees spontaneously come into bloom and scoring 11 holes-in-one the first time he played golf.

But he is also gifted with a common touch.

In 2006, Kim visited a rest home in Hamju, south Hamgyong province.

“Guided to an amusement hall, he saw a yut-game board large enough for some twenty persons to play at the same time,” KCNA said.

“He said it would be good for people as many as twenty to play the yut game at the same time and that such folk amusements as yut, Korean chess and kkoni (another board game) should be encouraged at the rest home.”

When an official told him that chess and kkoni boards were made outside, he said such boards should also be made inside to play the games on rainy days.

“Officials were deeply touched by his deep care for peasants’ pastime during their vacations.”

(Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Now for something completely different in North Korea