Strange Times We Live In

According to various sources, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is said to have received a letter from President Obama, hand delivered by former President Bubba Clinton. The White House has promptly denied that the Big O. and the Beloved Leader are pen-pals, but apparently Kim said that in order to improve his position within the North Korean hierarchy.

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Bubba and Kim keeping a straight face (source: The Beeb)

Which should tell you at least two things: a) that no dictatorship runs on a strict top-to-bottom approach and is hence not a monolith and b) that Obama carries weight even people in North Korea. Which makes for a nice irony, when a leader of a country, which sees the US as its arch-enemy, gains brownie points by getting a postcard from the person, who personifies that particular enemy.

Strange times we live in…

Published by

pengovsky

Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

21 thoughts on “Strange Times We Live In”

  1. the reason for boasting with that letter could lie in fact that Obama administration is quite harsh with North Korea (certainly more harsh than Bush administration), so maybe posse around Beloved Leader and himself got a bit scared about what’s next and probably they realised that they aren’t getting anywhere with their current strategy of nuclear tests and similar dung, so they chose different path, so that “diplomatic reset button” could be hit (once again), like they say in Times, because, like Hillary Clinton put it (also from Times) “North Korea doesn’t really have “anywhere else to go”.

    more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1914475-1,00.html

  2. @fetalij: You have a point. (and way to go, we want more comments from you in English)

    @Mr. P: In this case, “getting a postcard” can, with an easily produced twist, be translated into an acknowledgement of the recipient being reckoned the sender’s equal. For the home public, that is. The foreign public is targeted by the release itself. Not a bad move for the old chess player.

  3. @fetalij: True. But usually, when dictators are pressed against a wall, they turn even more nasty. So this is slightly odd πŸ˜€

    @dr. fil: yes, but why does the Beloved Leader need recognition from The Big O? I thought he was one and immortal… Or could it be that Obama ranks higher than him even with the Kim-loving population of North Korea?

  4. The Beloved Leader? Hmmm… Not any longer in his home country, it seems. Celebrating his 47th birthday yesterday, the polls showed his popularity is rapidly declining, due to the health care reforms he’s currently proposing and the ever present American fear of ‘big government’. Methinks he – or at least his administration – welcomes this fait divers about North Korea in order to avert all eyes from the health care issue.

  5. Sorry, I meant The Big O, of course. BUt admit it, in the first few months of this year, it seemed as if he fit that moniker. πŸ˜‰

  6. @dr. ARF: At the risk of missing a pun, the “Beloved Leader” reffers to Kim Jong Il. As for Big O.’s ratings taking a dive, that was pretty much expected. But hey – there are people who still claim he’s an illegal alien πŸ™‚

    @dr. fil: agree with the general notion, although I still have to see the move…

  7. @Dr. ARF: The Big O (hopefully not a Beloved Leader wannabe) was bound to take a popularity dive from what this week’s Economist adequately described as “initial Messianic polling numbers”, so this actually does not necessarily reflect his success. We will be looking at his score towards the end of his term. Unless video evidence of him being born in Africa emerges before that :mrgreen:

  8. @Mr. P: I supply the movie, you supply the popcorn. Actually, I’ll probably just bake something, right. Fetalij and Dr. ARF, you’re welcome to join in. :mrgreen:

  9. Funny, they’re showing this one on national tv this Friday. Shouldn’t I be the one inviting all of you in that case? πŸ˜›

  10. Dr. ARF, I think it’s more about Il and N. Korea than about Obama, because much of the talk arises from Clinton’s visit to N. Korea, which was forced upon USA by those two captured journalists. So Kim grabs a chance for killing two birds with one stone – he uses that visit for home propaganda, how he, Son of the Sun (or whatever it is), made the mighty USA to kneel before him and His Greatness… on the other side, he tries to show to USA with accepting the visit and setting those two journalists free, that N. Korea is once again available for negotiations about nuclear program and whatnot and, of course, showing to whole World, that N. Korea (and their Beloved Leader) is nice, peaceloving, honest, nothing-to-hide and friendly country with no intentions of doing harm upon other countries or its own people… if only for the moment hehe

    but yes, no doubt that all this talk about that visit will be of some use to Obama too, his Administration sure knows what they are doing πŸ˜‰

    Mr. P. – I don’t think that Il feels so strong right now, I think that the World finaly got to him somehow… (in combination with romours of his sickness and so on and so on)

    Dr. F., tnx, I’ll try to participate more in english debates and to improve my English that way… and not to mention, I kinda love political debates, even if I’m not so lucid about politics (yet)

  11. ahhh…. “which was forced upon USA by those two captured journalists” i hope that everyone understands this and that what i meant was that it was not journalists who forced visit of high USA official to N. Korea but that those two journalists were merely an instrument of forcing the USA official to visit πŸ™‚

  12. @ Fetalji : I’ve no doubt it’s more about N. Korea and Kim Jong (gravely) Il(l). That was never subject for debate; you’re quite right. All I’m saying is that this issue helps diverting attention from the unpopular health care issue of the Obama administration.

    @ Dr. Fil. I would have loved to, seeing as we haven’t made it over yet and it’s high time. However, as of yesterday, I already have plans for Friday evening, unfortunately. πŸ™ Rain check, once again?

  13. @fetalij: I really don’t think this administration is being more harsh then the Bush adm. was) I really don’t see how any other administration would act differently since North Korea has been provoking the situation the last few months.

    @Dr. Arf: Do you disagree w/ the viewpoint “American fear of big government”? Just wondering because the wording makes it seem you’re inferring something.

  14. michael, actually, press writes, that new administration is more harsh than Bush adm., so what’s not to believe? specially if they write about what Obama adm. differs from Bush adm. in relations with N. Korea (like on that Time link I posted before in one of the comments).

    and maybe it’s not USA adm., but leader of N. Korea, who decided to start new kind of approach… because, as I said, they or he saw, that they won’t go anywhere with their strategy in past few months?

  15. @fetalij: There is a english saying -> “don’t believe everything you read”. πŸ™‚ I think it’s just a product of the situation. N. Korea basically has been telling UN & USA to go piss off, so that is why the reaction has been so harsh.

  16. i simply don’t think that matter in question is something American media would lie about… especially if they pin down the reasons why and where Obama adm. is more harsh than previous adm. πŸ™‚ but sure, it is likely, that it’s behaviour against N. Korea is product of the situation, as you said. and obviously it is bringin home some results, because N. Korea wants to resume negotiations. so do I see it.

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