[Readings] The Dear Leader’s Wild Kingdom | Harper's Magazine
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December 1997 Issue [Readings]

The Dear Leader’s Wild Kingdom


From a September 29 bulletin from the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state-run news service. Kim Jong Il, son of former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, was confirmed as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea on October 8.

Mysterious natural phenomena are being witnessed in different parts of Korea as provincial party conferences adopt resolutions recommending Kim Jong Il as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea. White flowers came into bloom on a pear tree, attracting butterflies and bees at a factory in Pyongyang on September 27. On their way to work, factory workers witnessed this phenomenon and said nature welcomes the festive event. More than 100 blossoms opened on an apricot tree near a film-processing plant in the city on that same day. Eighty-five blossoms were witnessed on apricot trees at a stock farm in Sangwon County on September 25. About 400 blossoms came into bloom on a twenty-year-old wild pear tree in a park in front of the Kaesong Municipal Party Committee building in the same period. On the morning of September 22, fishermen of the fishery station in Rajin-Sonbong city caught a 10-centimeter white sea cucumber while fishing on the waters off Chongjin. They said the rare white sea cucumber has come to hail the auspicious event of electing Secretary Kim Jong Il as party general secretary. Seeing the mysterious natural phenomena, Koreans say Secretary Kim Jong Il is indeed the greatest of great men produced by heaven and that flowers come into bloom to mark the great event.