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07 February, 2003

Dear Leader

A very sad sight has been the footage of North Koreans "demonstrating" in Pyongyang.

While there have been colourful, energetic and even violent anti-war protests around the world, all the North Koreans do is stand in rigidly regulated lines in a vast, vast square, just standing there with the same banners, staring forwards, listening to some Big Brother-esque rhetoric being read out in Korean.

Some days the only way one can tell if the Reuters pictures are new ones are if the weather has changed. Even when it's snowing heavily, they just stand there. The snowdrops fall on their faces and they don't move to brush it off, they don't flinch. They just stand there, they must be freezing. And yet broken as they are, they have spirit.

Today we got pictures of the "kimjongilia" begonia that soldiers have cultivated for their Dear Leader's birthday. Meanwhile, he's threatening nuclear war. Bizarre.


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