Of all the words written or spoken this past week and a half about North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un and his reasons for seeking a tete-a-tete with The Donald, the ones that caught my attention were these: “He ain’t stupid.” Megalomaniac? Yes. Torturer? Sure. Evil incarnate? No doubt. But he’s definitely not the dullest bulb in the chandelier.
Little Rocket Man has to be acutely aware that his ruthless regime can’t feed the starving masses or that nobody wants to buy anything North Korea sells. (Well, maybe China, but only because they have to prop up their neighboring autocratic state.) Even though he may have a nuclear device or two, Kim has to realize if he hits his button, the retaliatory strike will reduce his country to ashes before he can enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne.
So, I suppose we have to give credit where it’s due. In order to survive and keep whatever of his fiefdom he can, the portly and pompous despot realizes it’s time to get what he can. That may involve using China as a guideline. For example, establishing relations with South Korea may eventually allow for some modernization in the North. Perhaps a little economic boost. Reports indicate Russia would probably be amenable to shooting a natural gas line through a few villages to supply Seoul’s manufacturers and other industrial energy gobblers. I’m guessing that as long as Kim can continue to live as a king, he’ll be open to discussions and deals.
So in addition to any national arrangements, I would imagine there are also a few personal items on Kim’s “must have” list in order for any agreement to take place. For example:
Nutrisystem Turbo Shakes. Even a tyrant such as Kim has to look in a mirror and see a bloated blob staring back at him. He’ll no doubt want to lose that belly fat as well as a hundred or so other pounds as quickly as possible so as to appear lean and fit to all his countrymen. Rumor has it he may already be suffering from several physical maladies. Marie Osmond claims, “If I can do it, you can too.” Kim may believe that and include a couple years worth of shakes and food on his list of demands.
Hair Cuttery Coupons. He can’t be happy with that haircut. It may take awhile to grow his locks longer on the sides, but surely the fine cosmeticians at Hair Cuttery can help him restyle and reshape. I think some barber long ago accidentally buzzed the side of his head and, fearing for his life, convinced the dear leader that “everybody’s doing it these days.” You’d think if it were flattering, every young lad in the North Korean army would want to copy the ’do. Yet nobody but Kim sports it.
McDonald’s on Every Corner. If he really wants to feed his people, it wouldn’t take them long to get hooked on Big Macs and fries. (Maybe a Happy Meal with rice and nuggets with the prize being a Kim Jong Un trading card. That ought to win over the little ones.) Of course, Mickey D’s would want to get paid for providing its signature meals, so a little trade-off in capitalism may be needed to provide jobs and cash for the food.
An NBA Franchise. How does the Pyongyang Pinkos sound? Okay, maybe that wouldn’t work so well. Instead, the new team could have a contest to name the mascot. Of course, whatever name Kim entered would mysteriously win, but it would at least be sporting of him to make it seem legit. As part of this demand, obviously Dennis Rodman would have to be hired to coach the new team.
No doubt there will be a few more items of interest on Kim’s wish list. Fortunately, President Trump has sat at a negotiating table or two before. He’s likely to give in on the diet drinks and haircut. Don’t know about the other two. I’m thinking QuarterPounders and slam dunk shots might require the abandonment of anything nuclear related.
Despite the favorable rhetoric so far, nobody is headed into the situation thinking Kim is going to be a straight shooter about everything. He hasn’t exactly proven to be the most trustworthy guy on the planet. But talking is better than bombing any day of the week. And I have a feeling everyday, average North Korean comrades would much prefer full bellies to full nuclear silos. Still, as a Russian writer once taught Ronald Reagan, “doveryay, no proveryay” (trust but verify).
©MMXVIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer
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