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Dear Leader the Polymath – “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” – Barbara Demick

September 19th, 2011 · No Comments · Economics, North Korea, Totalitarianism

Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il, who by the 1980s was increasingly assuming his father’s duties, offered “on-the-spot guidance” to address the country’s woes. Father and son were experts in absolutely everything, be it geology or farming. “Kim Jon-il’s on-site instructions and his warm benevolence are bring about a great advance in goat breeding and output of dairy products,” the Korean Central News Agency opined after Kim Jong-il visited a goat farm near Chongjin. One day he would decree that the country should switch from rice to potatoes for its staple food; the next he would decide that raising ostriches was the cure for North Korea’s food shortage. The country lurched from one harebrained scheme to another.

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