Even though they do not celebrate Christmas in North Korea, it would seem permissible – nay, mandatory – for special U.S. Envoy Stephen Bosworth to present Kim Jong-il with an early Yuletide offering when he visits Pyongyang on December 8th. This despite the fact that the Dear Leader is scheduled to be there in spirit only and has a tendency to quickly toss such diplomatic offerings onto a Twin Peaks pile recently visited – and wonderfully detailed – by Beijing prof @prchovanec.
Nevertheless, with Bosworth focused on learning the latest North Korean tango steps, I thought I’d offer up some friendly diplomatic gift suggestions. Please feel free to chime in with any of your own.
1) Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue: Perhaps one day, as part of a new era of U.S.–North Korea relations, Amazon.com will deliver to Pyongyang. Until then, Bosworth might do well to personally deliver an ode to the stateside version of a cult of political personality.
2) Michael Jackson’s This Is It: One of the great what-if scenarios of the Ling–Lee detainment is the idea that the Gloved One expressed a sincere desire to try and intercede on the journalists’ behalf. A Jackson family-signed DVD would seem to be tailor-made for Kim Jong-il‘s pop culture MoJo.
3) A Chia Obama: Triangulating perfectly into the current geopolitical horizon by virtue of the fact that it is made in China, this greener-grass emblem is the trinket that comes closest to approximating the crazy tall tales told in North Korea of how nature has celebrated the birth of its top leaders.
4) A Snuggie: What better token of forward-looking frivolous capitalism than the current champ of U.S. informercial airwaves? Not to mention the fact that Kim Jong-il might actually wear it.
5) The Los Angeles Clippers: In 2000, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously passed to Kim Jong-il a basketball signed by the original MJ, Michael Jordan. Contingent on a couple of future Pyongyang condo contracts, Donald Stirling might be amenable to shipping the entire Clippers team over on loan for the rest of the 2009–2010 season. Let’s face it, there may be no better current way for the league to prove that the NBA is indeed a place where caring (about our emotional well-being) happens.