The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings


A Fresh Batch of Stories from North Korea’s Most Famous Sushi Chef

For the briefest of moments earlier this week, Kenji Fujimoto‘s interview with GQ magazine was online. But evidently, this was the result of a premature mistake on the part of some Web employee as the article was quickly pulled back down until it can properly follow the arrival of the June print edition.


Filed under: Kim Jong-il

The Father’s Day Buck Stops Here

For the first time in a long time, a father is not in power in North Korea as we get ready to celebrate cologne, ties and golf’s latest U.S. Open champ.


Filed under: Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un

The Emperor Has New Collaborators

The first co-author, John H. Cha, is an Oakland-based award-winning translator of Korean literature. The second, K.J. Sohn, is an editor-in-chief for The Daily NK and former secretary to North Korea‘s highest ranking defector, Hwang Jang-yop.


Filed under: Kim Jong-il, Media

Thirteen Days of Mourning

In North Korea, the official 13-day period of mourning for Kim Jong-il continues through December 29, the day after his funeral. If they sang Christmas carols in the DPRK, an old standard could have easily been reworked to pay tribute to the Dearly Departed Leader. Especially since he remains eternally able to subjugate Mother Nature:

On the first day of mourning,
my Leader sent to me
A Manchurian crane in melancholy


Filed under: Humor, Kim Jong-il

Don’t Sweat the Nuclear Stuff

If Kim Jong-il were to ever pass on a dictator’s self-help guide to his succeeding son Kim Jong-un, it could very easily be titled Don’t Sweat the Nuclear Stuff. Think of it as the Juche version of Richard Carlson, author of perennial best-seller Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, who passed away in 2006 at the early age of 46.


Filed under: Humor, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Movie Madness