North Korea

Kim Jong Un Cracks Joke About How Funny He Isn't

Ha ha ha?


North Korea is not known for its sense of humor. … In contrast, the North Korean people and Kim himself are held up as exemplars of dignified, noble existence. In photographs, North Korean citizens are always shown smiling or even crying tears of joy as they meet Kim. Reaction to anything that questions this can be fierce. When Seth Rogan and James Franco pretended to assassinate Kim in a recent movie,North Korea threatened a "merciless counter-measure."

Given this context, a simple, self-deprecating joke from Kim seems like a striking divergence.

State newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported this week that Kim was at a hospital in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, when he met a 5-year-old boy who had been orphaned. Kim asked the boy what he was doing. The boy explained he had been watching Kim, his dear leader, on a television set.

According to a translation from Yonhap News, Kim responded dryly: "It must have been no fun."