With North Korea seeming to be as far away as ever from returning to the Six-Party Talks, it behooves us to consider any and all possible solutions to the ongoing Korean Peninsula impasse. The latest one to streak across my brain is pretty simple: get a consortium of the world’s biggest commercial TV networks to pool together a wad of cash and offer it up to Kim Jong-il as part of a conditional reality TV show exit package.
As long as the Dear Leader agrees to a side-normalization deal, perhaps one conveniently arrayed over a three-season shooting schedule, there’s no telling how high the ratings could be in multiple languages. Call the show whatever you want – Keeping Up with the Kim Jong-ilisms, Extreme Makeover: North Korea Edition or I’m a Dictator, Get Me Out of Here!… Under any name, the opportunity to get to know Kim, his three sons and a cavalcade of elderly North Korean military leaders as they made their belated final way to freedom would be too good to pass up.
In the wake of a disastrous November 2009 currency redenomination and an ill-calculated March 26th, 2010 playbook attack of South Korean warship Cheonan, Kim Jong-il is desperate. The dispatch to Pyongyang of U.S.–UK diplomatic emissary Mark Burnett could be just what the Dear Leader ordered, and since Burnett has recently wrangled this country’s most geographically proximate political loon, Sarah Palin, he too would seem primed for such an opportunity.
A recent interview conducted in Macau with Kim Jong-il‘s eldest son Kim Jong-nam was a vivid reminder of what great reality TV material this all is, right down to the locale of the guerrilla ambush chat (a bank of hotel elevators) and the somewhat goofy outfit worn by the Hermit Kingdom’s Disneyland-loving exile. Since the genre of reality TV knows no boundaries of good taste, a carefully choreographed weekly North Korean series would indeed seem to be the mother of all reality TV shows, one that if successful could pave the way for spin-offs set in Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.