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Kim Jong-Il’s last ‘loving’ gift to the people — fish

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, December 24, 2011 9:46 EDT
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Kim Jong-Il’s “loving care” for the North Korean people lingers even beyond his death, with residents in the capital enjoying a special treat of fresh fish, official media reported Saturday.

The late leader took steps on the eve of his demise to supply the rare luxury, and his son and successor Jong-Un ensured the fish was rushed to the people while in mourning, the ruling communists’ Rodong Sinmun daily reported.

“Salespersons and citizens burst out sobbing at fish shops in the capital city on Friday,” it said.

The newspaper carried pictures of housewives shedding tears of gratitude at shops in front of large plastic basins filled with what appeared to be pollock. Fish is a luxury in the hunger-stricken country.

Commercial sector officials in Pyongyang pledged their loyalty to the successor, “saying the history of loving care for the people continues and no people on Earth are as blessed with leaders and generals as the Koreans,” it said.

It said the deceased leader worked with his “heart and soul” to supply the people with fresh fish all year round, giving tireless field guidance.

Kim presided over a 1990s famine that saw hundreds of thousands of people die, and there are still chronic food shortages in the impoverished communist state.

The late leader, who died on December 17 of a heart attack aged 69, perpetuated his power using an all-pervading personality cult inherited from his father.

The North’s propaganda machine has cranked into action to burnish the image of Jong-Un, who has inherited the Kim dynasty while in his late 20s.

The showpiece capital is home to the country’s privileged elite and its 3.3 million residents enjoy better food rationing, education, housing and other living standards compared with people in poorer rural areas.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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