A Tale of Two Tubs

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has described his country as a “shining success” in fighting Covid-19, according to state-run KCNA news agency Friday.

The pompadoured, platform-shoe-wearing Supremo of the secretive dictatorship was speaking at a Tuesday politburo meeting which discussed the novel coronavirus. 

Under Kim’s multi-chinned management, North Korea had closed its borders and put thousands into isolation more than six months ago.

Some of the state’s civil society elements argued, however, that these measures had already been in effect for decades, but did not make too fine a point about it as they were, 

1) civil to a fault;


2) loath to be strapped to an intermediate range missile prior to an “extremer-prejudice” launch. 

It was yet another day in the hermitage. Ask a citizen how it went, and you’d invariably get the same response: 

“Can’t complain.”

KCNA reported that after reviewing His efforts, North Korea’s “baddest” butterball had pronounced the outbreak dead, saying it had “contained the malignant virus” and “maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis”.

According to KCNA, the people gloried in the news and danced in the streets, crying “hosanna” and generally behaved as they did after every successful long-range missile launch, which was every two weeks, according to its rotund ruler.

His Multi-chinned Magnificence felt it was not just necessary but desirable to have as many missiles as possible because a portly president over the seas had threatened “flame and fury” on him if he ever stepped out of line or threatened his southern neighbour whichever came second.  

While not brooding about fire or rage, His Presidential Plumpness felt flamingly angry about America’s efficiency. It was too much testing that was the problem that was leading to too many infections. 

“Take away the testing and you would not have so many infections” he wound up before cunningly concluding in a poetic burst. “Quod erat demonstrandum (QED),” 

It was the sort of Trumpian twist designed to impress Latin America and iron-clad logic of such high school standards that even Paul Krugman was rendered speechless. 

The ample authoritarian in Pyongyang wished he could carry off something as convincing as QED and he thanked Heaven that he did not have to convince anyone in North Korea about anything.

 “Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin-chin,” he laughed immoderately and felt immensely grateful to his far-sighted grandfather who’d built up the family business, so to speak. 

Indeed, the Twin Tubs had much in common, both were probably, to quote an eminent Speaker, “morbidly obese” although it was fair to say that Mr Trump had tried almost everything to lose that extra 20 pounds short of diet and exercise.  

Both were shameless self- promoters although it must be conceded that Mr Trump took bragging to rarefied heights not seen since Hilary scaled Everest.  

Both were highly egotistical and critical of one another. When asked what he thought of Mr Trump after Singapore, His Meaty Majesty snorted: “He’s an arrogant fellow who thinks he knows as much as me.”   

Both were at ease with hyperbole. Witness Kim’s “shining success” with the presidential “more testing that anywhere in the world” back in March. 

And both weren’t especially bright. Mr Trump thinks Finland is part of Russia while his Supreme Shrewdness thinks Kimchi was named after his late, unlamented grandfather.

The fate of East Asia might rest on them. 

Woe is us!  

North Korea – Where Eagles Don’t Dare

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.