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The Dear Leader is Dead

December 20, 2011



Regretfully, its been a while since I’ve posted anything.  ‘Life’ and busyness has seemed to get in the way recently, and even teetering on the brink of exhaustion, tonight I wanted to make a post on this significant event.

On Saturday, Kim Jong-il was pronounced dead while taking a train journey through China.  Initial reports claimed he died from ‘physical and mental exhaustion’ while current reports claim a heart attack.   I first saw the news from other native-English teachers in Korea via facebook.  After reading a few news articles, I then turned to my co-teacher and brought it up.  To my surprise, she had no idea and neither did anyone else in the office.  After a few “Reallys?!” and “Oh how funny, the foreigner knew before us” conversations, business carried on as usual for the rest of the day.  After talking to some friends, it seemed to be a mixed bag of feelings on the event.  While some people, Korean and non-Korean, are worried about what this means for the future, others don’t seem to care too much.

Either way, this marks a pretty interesting time to be in Korea.  I will be interested to see how things pan out and how the successor, his son Kim Jong-un, will handle things.   In my opinion, I expect Kim Jong-un to flex his muscles on the world stage  (whether that be weapons testing or propaganda) for a period of time.  After that, I’m not sure which direction North Korea will go in.  Either even more secretive and aggressive, or more open and cooperative.  Though some people talk of reunification, or exaggerate over war, I see both a bit far-fetched and a long ways away.  Only time shall tell.

Below is a video released from North Korean state sponsored media on the mourning over Kim Jong-il’s death.   It is a pretty incredible video, and even though its hard to tell if those tears are real or fake, the whole thing is immensely bizarre to watch.


Promise to keep updates, and a more constant flow of posts.

Happy holidays to everyone back home!!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. larry wray permalink
    December 20, 2011 3:15 am

    Just seeing the video of the people crying for such a bad man makes me sad that people put so much faith in evil men of this world, very scary when the world reacts to leaders in such a way, I wonder if it was all real or their actions were because of fear, hoping you have a great holiday season, and so greatful to know that the birth and death of Christ puts all things into perspective, all evil men will have their place in death, and those who have love, charity, and concern for their fellow human beings will rise above the evilness that this world seems to be grasping, love and peace be with you.

  2. Jill Arant permalink
    December 25, 2011 12:47 pm

    Hi Jessica – I sure agree with Larry’s comments above! You have to wonder what all the wailing was about – ???? We are hopeful his son will be of a different ilk in leadership – what and why would and do people follow the evil ones??? We will stay tuned to this program. Maybe you will continue to provide insight as to the Korean movement and developments in this area.

    I have been uber busy (uber – my dau-in-law’s fav descriptive phrase) and remiss in doing one of my favorite things – following your blog! Checked in today finally and see what great stories I have missed. What experiences you are having – and your descriptive writings are most enjoyable! Wow – I don’t know where I’d go first – the jjingibbinggbbjj (sp?) or the penis park. Might have to toss a coin on that one.

    Well, your dad leaving on his Big Adventure has prompted us to again start paying attn to the Wray Blogs – we’ll be following his travels and cheering him on. What a great check off on the bucket list!

    We hear you are coming home for a couple weeks in Feb – then back to Korea for a second year. That is great – we will very much look forward to seeing you, if your busy social calendar allows – and hearing more about your most recent great adventures.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas – I do believe today is Christmas in Korea – I know you will have a lovely day. Enjoy – and we look forward to hearing more from our adventurer in Seoul!

    Jillzy & Billzy & Skootch

  3. December 29, 2011 2:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jessica! I hadn’t seen that video footage yet, so strange and disturbing. It’s funny that I was also the first teacher to know about Kim Jong Il’s death at work too! My co-teacher had no idea when I mentioned it to her.

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