Call it real love or the power of his propaganda machine and mass-scale brainwashing, the news of the death of Kim Jong-il, the “Dear Leader” of North Korea —announced on North Korean TV by an announcer, wearing black, who struggled to keep back the tears as she said he had died of physical and mental over-work —led to scenes such as the following:
Or so the coverage from the North Korean state media would have us believe.
In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him implicitly as the "supreme leader". He was also referred to as the "Dear Leader", "our Father", "the General" and "Generalissimo."
No body quite knows the real Kim -- every facet of his personality was subjected to myth-making and propaganda -- from the circumstances of his birth (school children in North Korea are taught that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow that announced the coming of ‘a general who will rule all over the world’ and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star that illuminated the sky. It also caused winter to change to spring) calculated to keep his countrymen in awe of him, with "strange facts" (his fficial biography on the North Korean state web site, which has since been taken down, claimed that Kim did not defecate) about him being the subject of Youtube videos:
It might seem like desperate Rajni Kant jokes, but North Koreans were led to believe that he had the "magical" ability to "control the weather" based on his mood. In 2010, the North Korean media reported that Kim's distinctive clothing had set worldwide fashion trends.
His super-natural abilities were also said to extend to Golf. In his very first outing at the age of 52, he was supposed to have bested the PGA tour record of 59, by scorching the 7,700-yard Pyongyang Golf Course in a stunning 38-under par round that included no fewer than 11 holes in one. He carded no worse than a birdie on any hole at the country’s only golf club. Knowing that this performance —said to have been witnessed by 17 armed bodyguards —could never be bested, and satisfied with it, he reportedly immediately declared his retirement from the sport.
He insisted on eating standardised rice and had female staff inspect each grain of rice to check it adhered to standards of length, weight and colour.
At university it was claimed in his biography that he wrote no fewer than 1,500 books in three years. He practiced the kind of dictatorial regime that kept him in absolute power, while keeping much of his country without power, though according to a study by the North Korean government earlier this year, North Korea was officially declared the second happiest place on earth.
So all-pervasive was the propaganda machinery and the North Korean TV's coverage of him forever out there "inspecting" something or the other that spoof sites had a lot of fun depicting real photographs taken from state media of the dear leader "updated every other day and sometimes on the weekends too": Kim Jong il looking at things.
And now of course, we already have a Kin Jong Un looking at things