The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings


In Praise of an Imaginary Theme Park

Thanks to U.S. missionary Robert Park, North Koreans woke up Friday, February 5th to a new twist on old propaganda. We still live in the Happiest Place on Earth, crowed the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), but today we have an American’s words to prove it.

“I have never seen such kind and generous people,” gushes Park, who walked through the main gates of the Hermit Kingdom on Christmas Day. “Religious freedom is fully ensured… I’ve learned that in the DPRK people can read and believe whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want… The DPRK respects the rights of all the people and guarantees their freedom and they enjoy a happy and stable life.”

Since it’s unlikely Park could be so thoroughly brainwashed within the space of six short weeks (the North Koreans are good, but they’re not that good), his cascading words are more likely a reflection of either a false confession signed in exchange for freedom or a third-party narrative cooked up by the 1960s English dictionary-toting KCNA crew.

Regardless, the Tumen River damage has – once again – been done. In a place where the brainwashed masses have been led to believe that Kim Jong-il is the karmic equivalent of Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Goofy, 28-year-old would-be martyr Park has inadvertently put his stamp of approval on a map of North Korea that ignores TomorrowLand in favor of Fantasyland, where glorious churches stand in place of odious labor camps. Or, to use another Walt analogy, Park has ended up singing the praises of a World of Laughter rather than a World of Tears, a World of Hope over a World of Fear.


Filed under: Commentary, Robert Park

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