When Albert Einstein quipped that “only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity and I’m not even sure about the former,” he must surely have been thinking of Kim Jong-Un.
When not plotting the murder of his half-brother in Malaysia, Dear Respected, as he was fondly called by the North Korean media, was preoccupied by lofty matters of state like thinking up new and ingenious ways to get rid of his mostly imagined enemies.
Standout example: Pyongyang recently executed Kim Hyok Chol, its special envoy to the United States, and foreign ministry officials who carried out working-level negotiations for the second US-North Korea summit that collapsed in Hanoi, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday.
Even Mr Kim’s interpreter during his talks with President Trump was executed. Mr Kim thought there might have been many a slip between the cup and the lip and knew that you couldn’t be too careful in foreign policy.
You can see why a citizen might be chary about working for the North Korean government?
Dear Respected had taken his grandfather’s management lessons to heart. While Kim Il-Sun had believed in management by assault, – he hit his officials over the head – his grandson had taken it a step further: He espoused leadership through assault with a deadly weapon.
Theodore Roosevelt summarised his foreign policy as “speak softly but carry a big stick”. Similarly, Dear Respected felt North Korea should speak softly but carry as many nukes as possible.
He also thought that if at first he didn’t succeed, he should blame his officials, which generally explained the periodic purges, executions and public floggings.
When he was younger, Respected used to see a therapist until the idiot told him that he might have a vengeance complex. “We’ll see about that,” snarled Dear and the fool was promptly executed.
Even so, Dear Respected liked to think of himself as a well-liked leader and it might even have been true. A 2014 survey of the North Korean people by CNN found that most people, when confronted by the question, “how’s life in Pyongyang?” invariably answered, “can’t complain.”
Dear Respected felt proud that North Korea possessed enough sophisticated scientific knowledge to churn out nuclear weapons and guided missile systems and felt that the people should be equally proud about those accomplishments and not carp about a small thing like a famine in the provinces.
He thought that Marie Antoinette was ahead of her time and unjustly treated. When told that the French people were starving and had no bread, she replied: “Let them eat cake.”
She lost her head because of that injudicious quip.
Secretly, the North Korean people longed for reunification with South Korea and an end to shortages, which they heard were unheard of in their southern neighbour.
But the shortages persisted because of Dear Respected’s prodigious ineptitude. It was so great that he continually dug the North Korean economy into the ground. And if he deemed that the hole wasn’t deep enough, he would simply grab a shovel and keep digging.
To soothe the people, he regaled them with motherhood statements. “True wealth isn’t measured by comparing yourself to others but enjoying what you have,” he would say.
He specially liked the statement because he knew he had more than everyone else, combined.