Less-Than-Dear Leader (Veiled Subscription Pitch)


There's a new day dawning in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, according to the Washington Times, which is reporting that Kim Jong-il has ordered the removal of his portraits from all over the place. The "Dear Leader" designation also seems to be going in the crapper, too:

Mr. Kim's portraits have long been ubiquitous in homes, offices and public buildings across North Korea, where they have hung prominently beside a picture of his father….

South Korean government officials said they had not noticed any distinct change in North Korea. But some North Korea watchers said the removal of portraits could signal a political change.

"If confirmed, it signals a major change in North Korea because Kim Jong-il is the only person who can order the removal of his portraits," Korea University professor Yoo Ho-yul said.

Whole story here.

No one has any good reason why the pictures are being pulled, but my personal theory: It's got something to do with Team America: World Police.

If you were a subscriber to the print edition of Reason, you'd be in line for a great story in the next issue about Kim Jong-il's aesthetic theories, which have, er, reshaped opera in the Hermit Kingdom. Suffice it to say that, nuclear weapons programs notwithstanding, Kim has been producing bombs for going on three decades.

And you'd also be first in line to read about why the recent widely praised Supreme Court rulings on enemy combatants are bad for civil liberties, how low-cost European airlines are transforming European identity (and leaving U.S. carriers in the dust), and how the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are riddled with resume-padding phonies.

A subscription to the print edition of Reason means you get a great-looking mag filled with pretty pictures a month or more before the content shows up here. A year's worth of issues costs a mere $19.95 and, for a limited time, we'll even throw in a copy of Choice: The Best of Reason, the new anthology of our greatest hits from the past decade, for the cost of a paid-up sub or renewal.

Go here for details.