Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Kim Jong Un and His Family of Dictators

Part Two: Kim Jong Un and His Family of Dictators

Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:00

Part Two: Kim Jong Un and His Family of Dictators

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. My name is Alex Fumero and I host the new podcast more than a movie, American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered. I don't want to speak about why would people be murdered for being in a movie. Listen to more than a movie, American me on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What back my listeners you are, because this is behind the ******** the podcast where we we talk about the worst people in history, and I make increasingly stretched and terrible introductions because I just I I I'm losing it. I'm losing my, my everything here. But you know who's not losing? His his his his personal capacity is Eli Olsberg, our guest today, comedian, writer and host of the. Closure and Pod is a woman podcast. Eli, Are you ready to learn some more about Kim Jong-un? I am. And I you're right. I have it together. But I'm hanging on by a thread just so the audience knows. Yeah, I I threw out the threads long ago, and let's just let's just let's just get into this. In March 2010, a South Korean Navy vessel named the Cheonan sunk just a few miles South of North Korea's nautical border. 46 of the 104 South Korean seamen on board were killed or possibly abducted because the chonin is believed by virtually everyone who have been sunk from a torpedo by North Korean ****** submarines, possibly on the express orders of Kim Jong Un, who was at that point still just a leader in waiting. For what it's worth, the North Korean government claims the sinking was fabricated by pro US Conservative. Administration seeking to incite the standoff between the two Koreas. Now, it's hard to say exactly why North Korea would want the Cheonan sunk in subsequent years. Kim Jong-un has continued to deny any role in the attack and repeatedly refused to apologize for it. So it may be as simple as the fact that attacking the chonin gave him something to rattle his Saber about, an issue, to loudly deny complicity, and while also gaining respect and loyalty from the Navy for letting them sink their teeth into the hated enemy. Whatever the truth of the sinking of the Cheonan was masterminded by Kim Jong Un. Or at least a plan he approved of. It wound up being a very successful gamble. South Korea moderated its response to the attack, and the North faced very little in the way of consequences for the deaths of those men. People have trouble understanding why dictatorships like North Korea would take a risk like this, what they would have to gain from kicking a Hornets nest. It's the same question people ask when they see reports that the Assad regime has gassed its own people. Why would they risk international sanctions for using WMD? Doesn't it make more sense for them to toe the line and not antagonize the US and its allies? Well, the reality is that often it does make sense to antagonize the US and its allies that often the gambles pay off. One could make the same point about Hitler's quest to annex Czechoslovakia. Many of his generals, in fact did, pointing out that if it came to war, the Czech defenses would decimate the still rebuilding German Vermont, leaving them easy prey for the French and the British. It seemed as if Hitler had nothing to gain from pressing for the conquest of Czechoslovakia. But Hitler, like all dictators, was a gambling man. So is Kim Jong-un. So is Bashar al-Assad. You are all dictators who wind up hanging on to power. Now, of course, the gambles of dictators don't always work. Saddam Hussein gambled when he started kicking you in weapons inspectors out of his country. He could have just let them do their work and maybe managed to hang on to power. But he gambled that he could stick a thumb in the eye of his enemy, and their desire to avoid war would overwhelm their desire to punish him. Now, Saddam was wrong, and it's also probable that nothing would have stopped George W Bush from invading Iraq, but Kim Jong Un has so far been remarkably successful as a gambler. He bet correctly on the Cheonan, and he would bet correctly many, many more times in the years to come. It's. Always interesting to me which of these guys like because Gaddafi was another gambler, like when he when the Civil War started against him and he started claiming that he was going to wipe out the city of Benghazi and kill all 600,000 people inside, it just bombed to the ground with his Air Force. That gamble backfired. He got called on it and he wound up killed in the streets. Yeah, but I think about that often too, where it is like and also going back to the previous episode we were talking about like when when it came up about. His you know, Kim's. Frame of reference you know this is a kid from early on who was critical of people and who was very you know very like in charge from the get go supposedly. How much of that is propaganda versus how much of that is true is another story but. When you have those frame of references, you're going to double down until you you meet your match or you you lose. And then at that point I think it really becomes like a an, almost like a like gambling addicts where even if you lose this round, it's trying to win the next one to undo the losing. And then, you know what I mean, like, it's it's it's momentum it one way or another. And it's. The thing that Kim Jong-un will have as soon as he comes to power that Gadhafi and Saddam didn't have, for example, that I think is a big reason why all of Kim Jong UN's gambles have worked out a lot better than those other dictators gambles did, is he has nukes and you have that's like that's like always having like a pair of aces in your hand every time. Like, like, yeah, it's it's just a little bit of extra assurance that you're gambles. No one's going to call your bluff because you got those nukes. Yeah. So yeah. As Kim Jong-il grew sicker and sicker from the consequences of being a 64 year old man with a $2,000,000 a year Hennessy cognac habit, he carefully prepared the stage for his son. They increasingly showed up at public events together as he done with his father. In the 80s, North Korean propaganda mills began to spread stories of the young Jong-un's close relationship with his grandfather, even though the two had probably never met. One famous parable is that Kim Il Sung once asked Kim Jong-un for an apple, so Kim Jong-un asked for a shovel so he could dig up an apple tree and present it to his grandfather. The message was that the North Korean people should be prepared to go the extra mile for their new leader, just as he'd gone the extra mile for Kim Il Sung. Very subtle messaging here. Now, to say the least. Yeah, Kim Jong-un's propaganda charm offensive had begun with the military, but it quickly expanded to the rest of society and cording to the great successor quote. At their compulsory weekly education sessions, people around the country were having messages drilled into them about the incredible feats of this young genius. They heard the one about firing a gun when he was three years old, and the ones about riding horses and driving cars at an age when most kids are just learning their ABC's. It was hard for people to believe these things. We just laughed at them. It may have worked for kids for. But not for adults, Mr Kang, the drug dealer, told me. But if you questioned it, you'd be killed. Some of his efforts to sell the new leader pushed the boundaries of credulity, even in this totalitarian state. One officially sanctioned biography, called the Childhood of the Beloved and respected Leader Kim Jong Un, claimed that he had perfect pitch, that he could ride the wildest horses at age 6, and that when he was just nine he was head twice beaten. A visiting European powerboat racing champion, the youngster had driven at speeds of 125 miles an hour. It said it was so unbelievable that the textbook was recalled. After whispered criticisms began circulating that it distorted and exaggerated the leaders early years it was revised to make it more credible. Wow, that's like, that's like playing a game of telephone and then starting the game all over again. Yeah, it's really interesting, but it's interesting that they that they'll revise it, which is is going to come up later. This guy is going to be a little bit less actually dishonest to the people of North Korea than his the private previous leaders have been. A little bit teeny, teeny bit. It's not a high bar. So, uh, I do think it's worth talking about right now, sort of how many of these crazy claims are believed within North Korea, because these are the stories that most commonly make it out to the world media about the Kims. Is all these crazy tales about, like, you know, how the, like the, you know, the lies that are supposedly believed in North Korea about the Kims. And I found an article on a website called North Korea News that was written by a former citizen of the DPRK who fled home. And included interviews with several other like refugees from North Korea. And this writer claims, quote, it is not wrong to say they believe the propaganda 100% before the death of Kim Il Sung. But the years of famine convinced many N Koreans that their government could not be trusted anymore than you know, most people trust governments. The article concluded 20% of people believe what the government says, 40% aren't quite sure what to believe, and 40% don't believe anything at all. So that's one dissident's opinion on how many people buy the government line on things. Wow. Which it makes sense. You know, if you've got 20% who believe everything you say and backed to the hilt and 40% who aren't willing to take a stance one way or the other, then that 40% who realize that they're being lied to aren't going to be able to make anything happen. Yeah, they're already there. Already in the minority. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Now, I would also be remiss if I talked about North Korea's propaganda, and I didn't point out that the ******** spigot spews both ways. The closed nature of North Korean society has made it easier for the government to lie to its people, but it's also made it easier for others to lie about North Korea, since few people can come forward to counter any falsehoods. I found one anecdote on a Christian missionary news site called that I found deeply interesting. Now this is from an article written by a missionary who lived in South Korea with his wife, and he's recalling a conversation. Had with another missionary quote. Miss Foley and I were in Korea talking to a man doing North Korea human rights work who shared with us the report of a tragic execution in North Korea. A North Korean woman who had been assisting a healthcare project of an international NGO inside North Korea. She was accused of being a spy and after a rather summary investigation executed. But here was the tragedy that compounded that tragedy, the man said to us. Americans want to hear stories about bibles and people being killed for having Bibles. I'm going to tell the American media. She was killed for distributing Bibles, and so he did. And so that's what American media reported. The story was everywhere. It was completely untrue, a total fabrication. The man who spoke to us wasn't even a Christian, but in his mind, he had accomplished his purpose, punished North Korea with bad press even if the press was inaccurate. His logic was this if there was no Bible, there would have been no news interest. If there had been no news interest, the North Korea would have gotten away with the killing of yet another innocent without any recrimination at all. As it was, the outcry led to an outpouring of donations to Christian. NGOs doing North Korea work. That's really interesting. That is really interesting. Yeah, it's funny. I can't even like, like, hearing that I'm. I'm kind of almost at a loss of words for it because it's so fascinating. Like, it's just almost like a thing where, like, this is. What else can you do with it? Do you know what I mean? Like, I'm already kind of a little dumbfounded. I'm like, well, yeah, yeah, totally. And it's it's so like, it's if you're if you're an activist who hates the North Korean government, which is a totally reasonable thing to hate. And you you you see it pass on to its third generation of ruler and realize that like. This ****** not dying out at all. At all. Yeah. So I I I can't even blame a guy in that position for telling whatever lie he thinks will hurt the regime, even though it just makes it harder for other people to like, try and figure out what's actually going on over there. I I can feel the frustration, yeah. And just to kind of like almost draw parallel, it's like that there's a lot of arguments happening here now in regards to how Democrats approach things and how how liberal and leftist approach things in regards to like. Well, you have to be above that and some people like, no, you have to be as ******* dirty as the other side is in order to get it done. And that kind of seems like it's obviously in a much more, it's morphed a little differently there. But that's kind of the same thing where you're like, well, by any means necessary and at whatever cost and other people are like, well, no, you still have a a kind of sense of duty and ethics to this whole thing. And I don't I and I I don't I I almost want to say the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But at the same time to say that means that, well, yeah, you're kind of acknowledging it. Does have to be you have to play dirty. And I, you know, I don't know what the answer would be there. Yeah, and I think the the frustrating thing is that the the only real answer can be. The truth is whatever works. So if whatever succeeds, whatever is shown to have succeeded in the long run. That's that's the truth. And so it's kind of hard to say like right now is that guy right to have lied or not? Well, it it looks like he was wrong to have lied because it didn't help. But maybe like, yeah, I don't know, like it's but what if it worked, you know, that goes the other way where that that creates like 8000 arguments because like, well, it worked, but at what cost? And then some people are like, well, that's what you had to do, what he had to do. So I, you know, it feels like it's ultimately like it can really be a lose, lose situation, something like that. Yeah, it is like, it's it's so messy. Yeah, it's, it's, it's it's really ****** **. So back to Kim Jong-un and his ailing father. As Kim Jong-il got sicker and sicker and it began to become clear that death was imminent for him, several actions were taken by the North Korean government to very quickly prepare the way for Kim Jong-il's air. He started following his father on public inspections of military units. His birth home was made a historical site. He was made to assume leadership roles in the military and the Communist Party and in the security. Divisions and he was made a four-star general in 2010, so he's he's he's very quickly pushed up the ladder much faster than his father had been, because again, his father's got like 20 years as the heir apparent, and he's really only got like 3 or so. On December 17th, 2011, Kim Jong-il suffered a catastrophic heart attack on his private train, probably driving around to tell farmers how to farm better. His death was officially announced. 2 days later, Kim Jong-un for the first time, was addressed. As the great successor to the revolutionary cause now, 2011 was a more optimistic time in the rest of the world. The Arab Spring was still fresh, and it looked as if a surge of democracy and freedom was in the process of overtaking numerous dictatorships. Most international experts placed very little faith in Jong-un's ability to hold power and maintain the rule of the Kims. Victor Cha, who negotiated with North Korea for the George W Bush administration, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, where he joyously predicted the regimes collapse. The article was titled will North Korea? Become China's newest province. From the article I love by the way, that he still calls it when when he became the successor that you know of the revolution didn't the what revolution. It's always going on, man. It's always a revolution in North Korea, baby. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. It's still that same thing where it's like, it's like that using the the saying, the Democratic people, you know, of the of the people and for the people. It's you always want to associate yourself with something that's as lively and exciting as a revolution because just being nobody. Nobody's excited by being part of a government that just functions like like what? You want to, you want to, you want to, you want to just be caretaker over and *******. Norway, where the the state pretty much works and things go about fine. No, it's boring as hell. That's why nobody watches. No, nobody, nobody pays attention in Norway. Everybody pays attention to America because we're a train wreck 24/7. Like, yeah, yeah, that's what people want to see. Big truly feels like at the moment. It's like a disaster where like everybody just got in a huge car crash and they're exchanging insurance information and like a semi truck just comes along and plows through that. Yeah. And that that semi truck is driven by a 7 year old Kim Jong Un on a on a box. Yeah. Now in the back tabs on fire. Yeah, Oh yeah, yeah, forever on fire. So yeah, this as soon as Kim Jong-un comes to power. Like all these, experts and pundits start saying that like the regime's about to fall, it was unprecedented that Kim Il Sung passed on power to his kid. There's no way it's going to happen for three generations, Victor Cha wrote. Mr Kim's death could not have come at a worse time for North Korea. Economically broken, starving, and politically isolated, this dark Kingdom was in the midst of preparations to hand power over to his not yet 30 year old son. The untested Kim Jong-un, the great successor as he's been dubbed by the state media, is surrounded by elders who are no less. Within his father, in a military that shaped his promotion to four-star General last year without having served a day in the Army, such a system simply cannot hold. Now, as a general rule, when you have people writing statements like this system simply cannot hold about a system that is part of a foreign country that we don't really know all that much about and have great sources inside. You can assume they're talking out of their *** a little bit, and Victor Cha definitely was, because all signs over the net. Last six years of power for Kim Jong-un suggests that he has the potential to be the most definitely a more successful leader than his father ever was, and potentially even more successful than his grandfather. Which doesn't mean he's not a terrible person, he absolutely is. But the initial reactions to him in the world media were to make fun of him as a bumbling, overweight simpleton. In China, he gained the nickname Kim Fatty the third. And that nickname spread faster than Chinese sensors could remove it from their Internet. Reports began to surface in Western media that he'd murdered his girlfriend, who was a singer in the North Korean girl in a North Korean girl band. The tabloids reported she'd been killed after he caught her making lesbian ***********. Like most of the most lurid stories of North Korea, this was complete ********. The supposedly murdered woman later showed up just fine, clearly still in favor with the regime, which is essentially the same thing that happened with those negotiators for the nuclear summit, right? That's become a trope. Yeah, that's also what I'm fascinated by, because look like, like Kpop is having a moment right now more so in in America than it ever has, and I wonder what North Korean pop stars what what that kind of sounds like in comparison to. South, you know, like KPOP, because Kpop is referred to, obviously it's South Korea and they've had, there have been some K pop acts that have performed in North Korea, altered versions of their songs in the last couple of years as part of sort of the mild rapprochement that's occurred between North and South Korea. So that that's something, yeah, yeah. Now, when he initially came to power, Kim Jong-un's strategy was to tie himself closely with his grandfather rather than his markedly less popular dad. This has been helped by the fact that Jong-un bears a striking resemblance to the old man, one that might have been enhanced through plastic surgery. It's also equally possible that this, too, is a lie, the Brookings Institute writes. Just a few months after he became the leader of North Korea on the 100th anniversary of his grandfather's birth, Kim delivered his first public address. As he invoked his grandfather's legacy in the lengthy 20 minute speech, he also affirmed his father's military first. Policy proclaiming that the days are gone forever when our enemies could blackmail us with nuclear bombs. Yet even while endorsing his father's policy, he was making a remarkable departure from his father's practice. For this was the first time that N Koreans had heard their leaders voice in a public speech since Kim IL Sung's days. Kim Jong-il shunned speaking in public during his almost 20 years of rule. In fact, he only said like one sentence and a mass public speech to his people. So right out the gate, Kim Jong-un. Is a very different leader from his dad. Spends a lot more time in front of the people, does a lot more public speaking, is a lot more hands-on. Seems to be a more functional guy in general now. Kim Jong-un would continue to Buck North Korean tradition and plow his own path as the supreme ruler of the world's most totalitarian state. On April 13th, 2012, the Korean Committee of Space Technology launched Lodestar 3A brand new observation satellite. The name was a reference to the Holy Star that supposedly bloomed in the sky when Kim Jong-il was born. Despite its name, Lodestar 3 only stayed airborne for 90 seconds before crashing into the ocean. Now, given what gets reported about North Korea, you might expect the state propaganda to have denied any failure. Instead, they leaned into it, admitting that Lodestar 3 had failed to enter its preset orbit and announcing that their scientists were looking into the failure. This marked the first time that the North Korean regime openly copped to a mistake of this magnitude. It started to appear as if North Korea's new leader was trying to position himself as a more reasonable, open-minded ruler than his father or grandfather. Have been. Now, how true any of this is is debatable. Vanity Fair spoke with Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the UN and a guy who actually negotiated with North Korean leaders in Pyongyang on several occasions. He generally is seen as having decent connections inside North Korean leadership. In 2015, he said. So let me first give you what others in North Korea have told me about him. Number one, he frequently jokes with other officials about not knowing anything, that he is new and young and that he has no experience. He actually thinks that is funny. So that is 1 #2 he seems to be insecure. However, he hears no one and he does not like to be briefed about issues. That does not mean he is not street smart or that he is not skillful. Surmising the way he has replaced the people, especially in the military, that he felt were not his people. He has actually done that quite effectively and brought his own people in or people he thinks are more loyal to him. So. Wow. Yeah. It's like one opinion. Yeah. And that's also that sounds like somebody. Pushing 30 like the the, you know what I mean, like anybody. That's the, you know when I brought that up, I think. A little earlier I had mentioned like, I feel like he because he's so young, like, you know, he's going to be someone who's in hitting 30, which by the way, we're talking about earlier, like how all these things that could have affected him being the product of an affair or that his uncle and you know that them, his uncle and aunt fleeing and all those things. This is when that **** starts getting actualized. Do you know what I mean? Like, in terms of the. Yeah, your brain starts processing those things and whatever, whatever you're going to be like as a result of that is is coming, coming to now. Yeah. And that starts to come out in Kim Jong-un. And one of the things we see from him is that he is capable of forging a new path from his ancestors and also capable of at least presenting a more open appearance. But another thing that he shows of his personality is that he is capable of the same kind of. Brutality that has kept his family in power for almost a century. He famously had his uncle, Jang Song Taek, murdered, reportedly for not standing up when Kim Jong Un entered a meeting, one witness later recalled, his uncle kind of sat in his seat and didn't really get up. He was very slow to get up until the last minute and then he didn't really do the full clapping. On December of 2013, Jang was fired and arrested on state television. He was not torn apart by ravenous dogs as reported, but he was executed, probably by firing squad. Kim Jong-un also had general. Pyongyang Chow purged in 2016 after he fell asleep in a meeting where Kim Jong-un was speaking. In this case, the execution was as brutal as you'd expect based on the fake news about the Kim family. General Choll was publicly shot to death with anti aircraft cannons, which essentially would have just yet disintegrated. The guy? Yeah, yeah. Oh my God, look at someone who eats up like a very specific brand of bee movie that has that kind of ****. For that to be an actualized non like exaggeration without hyperbole is ******* bonkers. And it it does sound like the execution that you order if you're a kid who's raised on Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's hard not to see a little bit of a line there now. If Kim Jong-un was indeed behind the sinking of the Cheonan, the years since 2010 seemed to have seen him double down on his strategy of launching provocative attacks. Many of those have occurred online. North Korea has long had a devoted cadre of hackers attacking South Korean banks and TV stations, but according to Brookings quote, the state's hacking activities have grown exponentially under Kim Jong-un. South Korea is hit by about 1.5 million North Korean hacking attempts every day. That's 17 every second, according to Southern officials Pyongyang used. Cyber attacks to mount asymmetric warfare, the American military commander in South Korea said at the end of 2014, North Korea provided a stunning illustration of this theory. The first target was Sony Entertainment revenge for the film The interview, which ended with a Kim Jong-un character exploding in a fireball to a Katy Perry soundtrack. Hacking is the country's strongest weapon, said another former student in North Korea. It's called the Secret War, he added. American intelligence agencies say North Korea has a total of more than 1000 cyber operatives living and working abroad, where there is better access to the Internet. Oster in China, but somewhere in Russia and Malaysia. They have one purpose, to earn money for Kim Jong UN's regime, however, they can malware, ransomware, spearfishing, sneaking into gambling and gaming sites. As long as they meet their targets. The good ones can make $100,000 a year, 90,000 for the regime, 10,000 for themselves. And I'm curious, where do you, did you see the interview in theaters when it had that small run? No. You know, I torrented it once it got like released onto the Internet. I did that whole thing, so. I remember I saw it at the Los Feliz three. It was one of the few theaters that got it in LA and it was like, so every showing was sold out. And and I remember that very well. It's Christmas, Christmas Day. It opened and I went on a whim and managed to get a ticket and I was like, oh, great, OK, I'll, I'll, I'll watch it. And it was such a. It's been a while since something's felt like, because I remember it was there was a thing that you're like, is there going to be a consequence for me seeing a movie today? You know what I mean? Like that you couldn't help but think that way, kind of in the same way. Obviously the stakes were a little different, but I remember thinking. You know, I remember after like 911, they were like saying they're like go shopping, go to the movies, go live, you know, do the things that bring you pleasure but like, like, you know, double down on them. And I remember the interview. That was a thing that you're like, go see the movie, don't let that strip your freedom. Almost. There was almost this, like, mentality towards that. Yeah. And it was not a great movie. Yeah. Like, which is the. That's what kind of. Yeah, of course that drives the whole thing that you're like, well, even even on the level of. What those guys were delivering for the movie, you're like, that's fine though I will say if I remember correctly this was a few months ago, Seth Rogen was on fresh air and and had a lot to say about it and it was a pretty, pretty and I don't want to quote any of it because I'm really my brains kind of a little not remembering it super well right now. But he was pretty articulated about it and felt like you know had his had pretty OK feelings about the whole thing, like once it was all said and done. Well, we're going to talk about the interview a little bit more after this, and we're going to talk about Kim Jong UN's nuclear ambitions after this. But I have to bring us into an ad pivot right now because Sophie is not here to call them. And I am very late on calling it this episode because I I I fall apart without Sophie to run this thing, so. That's a terrible ad segue. But I think that's the best one to date. Just admitting my incompetence and throwing *** **** pills. I wish. Yeah, I wish more podcasters will. Vulnerable, vulnerable about that. I'm bad at my job by **** Pills because erections are good and that's it. That's the ad ******* pivot. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant families start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twist at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. At, my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. Always felt like an ambassador. First speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle. The hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's You get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or? Could have asked you like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back, OK, so we're talking about the interview, which yeah, it's it was an interesting. Provocation from North Korea because it's the first time any state did anything like that, because there were threats of violence. I remember they made claims about how, like, if theater showed it, they would attack. There would be attacks on the theaters that would be like 911 and scale, which none of that happened, but they did really **** with Sonny's bottom line and throw a lot of their internal emails and stuff onto the Internet. And it was kind of a preview of some of what we'd see in the 2016 election with Russia and the DNC leaks and stuff. Yeah, and it it what I remember about it specifically. Very well. Was that like it? It is interesting that that thread about like going to the movies, it could have consequence or showing it at a certain theater. And I remember it was the first time that I was like, oh, we're actually more worried about, like, hacking and those kinds of attacks versus, like, a physical threat like that actually outweighed it. I I remember that being somewhat the sentiment. And one of the things that's interesting to me, if we're looking at how Jong UN is different from from Kim Jong-il is, you know, Kim Jong-il had his own movie that was arguably even more offensive from the perspective of the North Korean state Team America. Where he's. Yeah. Like it's interesting that nothing was done about that. And maybe it's just like the Internet was not as pervasive a thing when that movie came out as it was when the interview dropped. But I think it also might be evidence that, you know, there weren't North Korea didn't have nukes. Well, I'll also say in regards to Team America, it didn't, it didn't going into seeing, it didn't ride that same wave of controversy and they also. That that movie isn't single minded and in who it was going after. It had so many people on their on their plate as as Trey Parker and Matt Stone are known to do which is that they they go after anybody. You know what I mean? Like to the point that they literally had Isaac Hayes walked away from South Park because they wouldn't even bend. They're like well you're not the exception here after going after Scientology. So they were throwing in everything and the kitchen sink in terms of who they went after and so I think that was the one advantage that they had even though he is the still the. Kind of the main villain in the whole thing. But, I mean, you know, they literally go after everybody in that movie, even Michael Moore, who at the time had just did Fahrenheit 911. Yeah, Fahrenheit 911. And whereas the interview, I think, came after this. Where we were, what, in Obama's second term, you know, he beat, he beat, he beat Romney effortlessly. And and Kim Jong-un was very new in power, too. So there was like, this stuff to prove, too. Yeah. And and and not only that, but he was just the sole focus in a way that we weren't thinking about other people. You know, any other movies that had come out at that point, like Zero Dark 30, these were things that we're looking back on, on victories in a certain way. Whereas this, you know, a movie like this is pure speculation. And, you know, one thing I do remember about the movie, that is the scene where he goes out into the street and it turns out it's all like a set, a constructed set. And I do think about that and relate in relation to everything you're talking about in terms of the stuff you're reading off about how much of it is edited versus real. Yeah. What if it's all just a huge veil? Yeah. And it's, you know, I've heard from a couple of North Korean dissidents who have written about sort of or dissidents, even the wrong term, people who fled North Korea who took offense to the interview in a way that I don't think I've heard about them doing to Team America. And I think part of that might be that kind of the in addition to sort of like, like, it's one thing to lampoon a dictator and it's another thing. To. Kind of lampoon the idea of a revolution against a dictator and put a couple of white guys from Hollywood at the center of that revolution. So I think that was something also that like some people who some N Koreans or former North Korean, I don't know like what terminology would be best to use. But some people who grew up in North Korea and had to leave because of the terrible government in that country's reasons why they too were offended with the interview. You know, even though they have no no issue with wanting to fantasize about Kim Jong Un being. Blown up in a helicopter or whatever, right. Yeah. And yet I bet, like I said, and we obviously talked about this way back at the beginning, part one, which was that like, I bet this this guy watches whatever is out and you know, whatever the big stuff, be it MCU stuff or first reformed or any you know, whatever movie. I bet he takes all of that in with much more of an open mind. I, I I would argue that that it it's like because you're saying. There are other consumption of Western art and all of that. He must, he must just have a huge pile of just stuff he streams day. And it's that's like a one of the longest running dictator tropes, because Stalin loved cowboy movies and and Adolf Hitler loved American movies and like one of the things that's like, you know, in terms of like another movie that we that an American comedy star made about a dictator, Charlie Chaplin's the Great Dictator was very controversial. It's time it kind of ended. Chaplain's career was a big factor in chaplain's career collapse and he had to fund it himself. And we know Hitler watched it twice. We don't know what he thought about it, but we know he saw it twice. So I would be very interested if I I almost want to know more what Kim Jong-un felt about Team America World Police, then I want to know how he felt about the interview just because I feel like Team America has more artistic merit to it. And I wonder if if even he could lose himself in sort of like, Oh well, this is some really cool puppets. This is like a neat they're doing something interesting. Yeah, I would. I would that. That's a really good point because, again, I think part of that is that there are so many. Other people that get targeted in that movie and in in terms of what they go after and what they're commenting on that I I wonder if he does look at it as like. The same way a celebrity attends their own roast. Yeah, so Kim Jong-un, if if you listen to behind the baskets, drop us a line. Let us know what you think about Matt Stone and Trey Parker depicting your dad as a singing puppet. Now, I'll forward it if you whatever you're he's on Twitter, right? Yeah. Kim Jong-un. Yeah, he's a big Twitter guy. So yeah, the what I do think the interview is illustrative of, and a lot of coverage of Kim Jong-un is illustrative of this, just sort of how consistently underestimated he's been by a lot of world media. He was famously declared little rocket man by our president. A New Yorker cover on January 18th, 2016 showed him as a fat baby playing with toy nuclear weapons and tanks. Especially early on in his reign, he was depicted as like this. Idiot Fat child who had inherited an arsenal and didn't really know what to do with the power in his hands. And I think that. Time has proven all of those takes very wrong. Absolutely. I was just thinking, you're telling me all these things. I'm like, man, every person involved in that I bet on that day got a real ******* pat on the back. And now looking back at it, it's obviously it's a sign of the times, but it's still like, holy **** not only were they off, but they were way off. Kim Jong Un has carried out four of his Nation 6 nuclear tests, including the largest in September 2017, where they detonated 100 to 150 kiloton warhead, roughly 10 times the size of the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima. He has tested 90 ballistic missiles, 3 times as many as his father and grandfather combined. Under his leadership, North Korea's Arsenal has expanded to between 20 and 60 nuclear weapons. His scientists have built ICBM's that can theoretically reach the continental United States. CIA analysts consider North Korea now to be the hardest of hard targets, and much of that is due to Kim Jong-un's incredibly successful military policies. According to the Great successor quote, nuclear weapons and missiles have been built into lessons at school, with little children taught to have pride in the programs and older ones taught about the physics involved. An elementary school socialist ethics textbook published in 2013 shows a man, a boy, and a picture of an Unha 3 rocket. Is it true that you gave joy to the respected? Later, the child is asking his father, who appears to be an engineer. Kim Jong-un has lavished praise and luxuries on scientists of all stripes since he became the state's leader. Boundless is Kim Jong-un's love and care for the scientists and technicians who have played a big role in improving the people's livelihood and beefing up the defense capabilities, state media reported when the great successor visited Kimchaek University of Technology, the MIT of North Korea, in 2013, one of the most surprising images of Kim Jong-un's tenure that did not involve Dennis Rodman came after the ground test for a new rocket. Engine in March 2017, the respected Marshall and Brown overcoat, and with a broad smile, gave a piggyback ride to one of the key men involved in the project. The clearly anguished rocket scientist, who has decades his senior, bounced around on Kim's back as other officers, all decked out in olive green military uniforms, laughed and cheered. Yeah, I always the Dennis Rodman thing. Like, I remember it and then I forget about it, and then I remember it again, and every single time I hear it, I literally chuckled to myself. Yeah, yeah, that that's in the mix here, too. Of thinking about him giving rocket scientists piggyback. It it has its root in like, Korean wedding ceremonies, like the groom is supposed to, like, put his bride on her back and carry him around. So he's like. Almost like symbolizing his marriage to nuclear weaponry. Like the marriage of the regime to nuclear weaponry. Like, and that ultimately serves as like a thing where he's like, he's like, look at what a fun guy we can be with, with my nuclear family. Yeah, yeah, that's it's so weird. Now, under Kim Jong-un, the North Korean economy has also improved markedly, reaching estimated growth of four to 5% per year, which is low for the region but substantially better than the country enjoyed for virtually all of his father's tenure. Much of this is because of reforms that Kim Jong-un instituted, allowing rudimentary markets to reform or, to be more accurate, allowing the rudimentary markets that had formed already to not be wiped out by state power. According to Andre Lenkov, a Russian North Korea expert, he decided to do what his father was deathly afraid of. Doing he allowed farmers to keep part of the harvest. Farmers are not working now as essentially slaves on a plantation. Technically the field is still state property, but as a farming family you can register yourself as a production team and you will be working on the same field for a few years in a row. You keep 30% of the harvest for yourself and this year, according to the first unconfirmed reports, it will be between 40 and 60% that will go to the farmers. So they are not slaves anymore, they are sharecroppers. Wow, so. Yeah, he's like he's he's been involved in consistent reforms and they seem to have been pretty successful. I was going to say this is a results oriented what what's weird is that with you know when you look at like the the US economy and and and other economies it's obviously a combination of of who's in office at that time. And then part of it is is cycles obviously and and some of them inherit the bad while others get to inherit the good and call it their own. That doesn't seem to be the case here because. Their families like the through line, so whatever they're doing seems like they can. They can really not only brag about it, but in a way that almost can't come under scrutiny. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That may be the case. And it's of course made easier by the fact that they have so much control over outside. But also that's probably why he's had to open things up somewhat, is that over the last decade, North Korea has become a lot less closed. They they've like because it like, the regime wasn't able to stop much smuggling. Like people have been getting in DVD's and whatnot. They watch South Korean soap operas, they watch American movies, they've become aware of how the rest of the world lives and so. They really kind of like. I think Kim Jong-un had to knew that he had to open things up to allow them to gain some of the luxuries that they knew were out there because the information the world just wasn't as closed anymore. I wonder how much of how much of China he uses as a reference point for that because you know they allow art in, but it's very specific to what goes in and what goes out and and how much of it is, you know, can be edited versus, you know obviously China is different. They also have they now there's funding coming from there but for for certain movies. But, and we're keeping box office in mind for them though, but I wonder how much of that benefits North Korea as well, not in terms of being in bed with China, but what I mean is like how much of that is mimicked? Yeah, and I I I couldn't tell you that, but it does seem that the evidence suggests things are a lot better in North Korea for average people than they were 10 to 15 years ago. I found that long ago, not that long ago I I found a Vanity Fair quote in Vanity Fair article I came across from Brian Myers, who's a professor at South Korea's Dong Soo University. He has defectors from the North visit his class and has been doing this for years to talk to his students. But in recent years, you know, previously when he'd have defectors and they would talk about the unspeakable privation in North Korea when they fled and how rough it was and how how many people were starving, but over the last few years, the newer refugees. The fled had been more likely to describe the company as, and these are Brian's words, a cool place where they would have liked to remain if they hadn't been forced out for one reason or another, usually due to government repression. But like, they described life as reasonably nice in the place where they came from, and, like, we're more regretful of having had to leave. So yeah, that's one data point at least. Now Speaking of data points, Eli, this is another ad pivot, which I am just, I am just not on the ******* ball with the ad pivots today. I don't know. I mean ads. Ads are generated by data. Yeah, that that's true. And data is how they how they sell, how they Hock the stuff. So I don't know, I think it was a good segue. Yeah. Well, contribute your data to these product producers and. Let's all contribute to the glorious cycle that allows our our great leader, which is the almighty dollar, to. I don't know where this was going. Products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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Com slash behind my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or that I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. We're back moving fast so that nobody notices how bad that last ad plug was so pro Kim Jong-un propaganda has continued to be outwardly ludicrous. During the later year or the more recent years of his reign and 2015, the Telegraph published an article about a manual that had leaked out of north from North Korean teachers, ordering them to inform students that their new leader had some spectacular talents. Quote North Korean children are being taught that Mr Kim is a skilled artist and a composer of musical scores while he was able to drive. He was three. Mr Kim is also apparently a natural sailor. At the age of nine, Kim Jong Un raced the chief executive of a foreign yacht company who was visiting North Korea at the time the books claim, adding that he overcame the odds to claim victory. So this is the second rumor we've come across of him being really good at racing yachts as a little kid. And it's also, it's interesting, the stuff that it's important because you see the repetition in the different types of propaganda. He really wants people to believe he can race yachts and has been doing so for a long time. That he was driving as a toddler, right. That's important. All. Yeah. And I feel like the only one missing is that he flew like a Harrier jet in, you know what I mean? Like some. Well, he actually is a pilot. He has a pilots license. So he does fly things. Yeah, like, like that's actually seems to be real. Like he does fly planes and stuff, but he doesn't. He doesn't lie about having flown a plane as a kid that I found, but he lies about piloting a yacht for some reason, which like flying a plane is impressive. That's a cool thing if our presidents and if if we had a president who could fly a plane, that would be a thing they'd brag about. Of course, Bush bragged about it. Yeah, exactly. I was just going to say it was like one of Bush's few things where people were like, Oh yeah, well, yeah. I mean, he did it so he could he could fly that plane. Yeah. Yeah. That ain't nothing. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it's that's just so weird to me and I don't know, I don't know if, like, I don't even know how much. One of the things I'd be really interested to learn is how much input he actually has. Like, clearly, if he wanted the propaganda to stop, he could. But like, does he approve it all or does he just trust his propaganda people to put out whatever? And they have kind of done, like, focus testing to be like, the people are really soothed when they hear about him driving a yacht at age 3. And where does this **** come from? Yeah, I think, well, I don't yeah. I don't think he dreams it up. I can, I can tell you that's where Trump serves as a reference point because this is a guy who literally will just on the fly to say something that is a complete crock of **** and about whatever, you know, he I'm sure at some point, let's let's put it in his if he was like, yeah, you know, I I, I flew a plane and then when I got off the plane, I landed on a ship that I actually steered back to home. We'd all be like, what a ******* liar. And since he has people doing it for him, I do think there's an approval process. That would be my guess if it wasn't coming from people and he was just doing it like talking about it on a podium in that same way, like pontificating in this way, then I would say he's obviously not consulting A-Team, but I think, I think he has some say in it. Somehow he has to. And that must mean that it is really important to him that people believe he was driving a truck at age 3. Yeah, because otherwise if he had people just doing it without any kind of say in it like those. Those people who are making this up, they're they're they're playing without a net and they're also putting themselves at a risk for being killed because if they say something that makes them look bad, he's going to he's going to have him killed. And this is what's so interesting to me about trying to psychoanalyze this guy from afar and with as little information as we really have about him, is you get these, these, these snippets of his personality, like you see the the result of his actual policies. Which is pretty cold blooded and effective. He's been a very effective dictator and most of the sober analysis I've read about him recently people say he he does. He doesn't seem to be crazy. He seems to have a pretty reasonable understanding of the geopolitical situation. He's been very smart with his gambles and they've mostly paid off for him. But you also get these hints that he there are chunks of him that never grew up that are still childish, like this desire. Is a kid like this lying about driving a truck? Age 3 is like the kind of lie a 7 year old would tell in kindergarten, right? I think that goes back to the mythology thing that the family has is through line and and I think if he were to ex all that out, it would it would almost be like writing off the nonsense of of past. You know what I mean? Like like there's this thing there that I think he that will always be there, but I'm I'm sure there's like a soft rollout of lessening it maybe. Yeah. And it's. Yeah. It's it's really hard to say like it it. Yeah, it's it's definitely, definitely. I'll say it's it's less ridiculous than the stuff you were hearing about his dad. So yeah, maybe it has gotten milder, but there are like. In terms of like just trying to figure out what this guy is like personally, one of the other data points we have is the 2013 trip that Dennis Rodman, former Chicago Bulls star and actor in the perfect movie The Minis, which you should really see if you haven't seen Anies. Just to tie it all together with this podcast in Double Team with Jean Claude and Double team with Jean-Claude Van Damme. That's damn right, Van Damme, right? As a matter of fact. So yeah, Rodman in 2013. Travel to North Korea with vice producer Jason Mojica and a camera crew, all of whom apparently got **** ***** with Kim Jong Un after like a series of of big public press events. Now unfortunately there's not video footage of all of this because at a certain point they weren't allowed to have their cameras on. But the great successor has a pretty good write up of what happened when things went off the rails and it paints. I don't know, it adds a little bit of extra depth to our picture of Kim Jong Un so I'm going to read that excerpt now. Mohica, who's the the vice editor, feeling emboldened by the shows you, which is like a like a type of liquor in that part of the world, kind of vaguely analogous to like schnapps maybe, invited Kim Jong-un to make the return journey to New York. He then raised his glass, a Tumblr of Johnny Walker black that the waiters had been filling throughout the night, as if it were wine, and took a sip. All of a sudden, the young dictator was yelling and gesturing at him. For a second, mohica wondered if he'd committed a grave error. Then the translator kicked in with a bottoms up. It was a command performance, Mohica told me. Evil dictator was demanding that I chugged my drink, so I chugged my drink. He was woozy, but he still had the mic, he slurred. If things carry on this way, I'll be naked by the end of the night. Madame Cho had a look of complete disgust on her face, but as the translator, she relayed the mark to Kim Jong-un, who broke out into laughter. The shows you was working. Kim's face grew progressively ruddier, and a smile grew broader, revealing the discolored teeth of a heavy smoker. Mohica estimated that the great successor had at least a dozen shots of shojou everyone was in the vice producers, words wasted. At one point, the Globetrotters were on stage. Hand in hand with the Moranbong band members later, Rodman had the microphone and was singing my way while Barthelemy played the saxophone. Leaning back with his eyes closed like he was channeling Kenny G, Rodman sent his sidekick over to Mohica to tell him to tone down their raucous behavior. That's when Mohica realized how out of hand things had become. You know, it's wild when an internationally notorious bad boy is telling you to cool it. Everything else is hazy. If I was being my best journalist, I would have stayed sober and committed everything to memory, said Mohica. But we all get really caught up in the spirit of the evening after several hours. Kim Jong Un. Stood up to give the final toast. He said that the event had helped promote understanding between the peoples of the two countries. So. He's this guy who's capable of kind of deftly navigating the takeover of power from his father and like the continuance of an unprecedented, like chain of succession within a communist country. And also the kind of guy who. Is going to get wasted with Dennis Rodman when he comes in and like like like. Clearly like aspects of him that didn't grow up and aspects of him that are very cunning, but like, you get this, like. These flashes that he still has this, like, lack of impulse control in some ways that his dad did totally. And and again, I and I hate to keep chalking it up to that, but that's age right there. I mean, this guy didn't get to, you know? I mean, look, at the end of the day, I do think even people of whatever stature, anybody who like, comes from that type of privilege is going to want to just ******* party like, yeah, you know? And it's like the one thing people at that level can't do. Which, to be clear, as a champagne problem, they can't just be normal ******* people. They can't just go out and party and be seen partying and be seen being in any way, shape or form. Sloppy drunk, even buzzed. Yeah. And it's it's just interesting to me that that same guy is capable of the discipline and planning that was necessary to. I mean, he really came off as the winner in the the nuclear summit with our president where he didn't give up anything. We didn't get up into getting a single real concession from North Korea. And that and he got the thing that every generation of North Korean leader before him had failed to get, which was a direct meeting with the United States President, which is the kind of legitimacy. That the North Korean regime has always wanted. And I think from, like, their point of view, like, if you're wondering, like, why they're so, like, in terms of, like, why they're so married to their nukes, like, #1, they see what happens to Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi, who, like, give up their nuclear programs and get murdered as a result of it. And they also see, like, if you have nukes, you can get an American president to the table with you. And that brings you a kind of legitimacy that nothing else does. Yeah. And you know, it was not Kim I'll sung who managed that. It was not Kim Jong-il who managed that. It was Kim Jong Un, the little rocket man, the kid that like, everybody made fun of when he took power, which is, you know, that's really interesting to me. Like he comes across is maybe the most adept. Of his family. And which like really says something because this is the period, I think, in in terms of all the cultural shifts we've had in the past since since that family first took hold. This is the one where. And I'm talking about on a global level, for everybody, in terms of any kind of career, anything you're doing. This is the period. I feel like things are the most in freefall, and it's the hardest to adapt to things because you don't know what's going to be the the thing or what's the right way to go about it. And yet it does make you wonder, like in that talking about gambling before, if if it's just him rolling the dice every time or if it's him with a specific instinct for this **** like, what is it? Because a lot of other people in so many different ways have failed in terms of careers. In terms of all these other things, because of the the paradigm shift of the last like 10 to 15 years has been so severe. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and it it really has and if if nothing else, like the message that you get from. Kim Jong-un's story is like, if you're going to be a dictator, you better have a couple of ******* nukes in your pocket. Yeah, because like, that really smooths out your ability to handle the travails of of the world that rolls along totally. And and it is. And I guess in talking about all this stuff we're saying, like, well, the past few years he's managed to adapt to these things that obviously is the big, you know, the key, the secret. And he's, you know, as the years have gone on, there have been other things we can tell about him. You know, from pictures. We know that he's gotten more and more obese, shall we say. In 2014, he was out of Commission for six weeks, and when he came back into the public eye, he was wearing a walking stick. The rumors that circulated widely in the news were that his addiction to rich, Swiss emmentaler cheese had made him so fat that his ankles had collapsed. More realistic and sober appraisals of things suggest that he probably just got gout, better known as Paul Manafort's. Disease. So it kind of the end of this. The picture that we're left with of Kim Jong-un is a cunning, brutal and sometimes brilliant, generally balanced, insane dictator who knows how to sort of weigh practical repression of his people with enough freedom to maintain power and give them a sense of improvement and hope for the future. But he's also a guy of strong appetites and little self-control when it comes to desires of the flesh, and I can't claim to know the man, but based on my reading. The most compelling picture I think I found of his personality was written out in a Vanity Fair article by Mark Bowden. Mark notes at age 5, we are all the center of the universe. Everything our family, parents, home, neighborhood, school, country revolves around us. For most people, what follows is a long process of dethronement as His Majesty the child confronts the ever more obvious and humbling truth. Not so for Kim. His world at age 5 has turned out to be his world at age 30, or very, very nearly so. Everyone does exist to serve him. The known world really is configured with him at his center. The most senior men in his Kingdom have power because he wills it, and they smile and bow and scribble. And Moss and little notebooks whenever he dines to speak. Not only is he the one and only Kim Jong-un, he's officially the only person who can carry the given name, Jong-un. All other N Koreans with that name have had to change it. Multitudes stand and cheer for the merest glimpse of him. Men and women and children weep for joy when he smiles and waves. So wow. Yeah, that's what I got. Yeah. I mean, there's nothing more to like. It is a thing where, I mean, I don't know, it's that. It's what I've been thinking about a lot, actually, for this entire coverage of all of this has been, you know, a lot of people talk about nature versus nurture. This is pure nurture. Yeah, do you know what I mean? Like, this guy has it doesn't matter what nature, whatever he's chemically bound to, whatever it is, pure nurture, I think that has shaped him through and through. If this kid hadn't been the son of a dictator, he would have been that kid that you like played PlayStation Sports games with and like through the controller, across the room when he lost. And then as he grew up, he either would have like become an in cell and joined the Alt right or he would have like gotten some sense smacked. Do them somewhere along the line and like grown up as a human being and like, become a functioning member of society or become one of those tech dudes. Like a merciless version of well, a lot of those guys are merciless and he's. I would argue he would probably become an app developer that would shift everything for the better for his pockets and the worse for everyone else. Yeah, if he wound up having that kind of, he is pretty mechanically inclined, so maybe, but. You know, he's. I think one of the things that ought to be clear to everybody at this point, after seeing how he's taken advantage of the Trump years, is that he was made fun of pretty much roundly when he first came to power. But he's proven himself to be one of the most able people in global politics. Which is frustrating. And it's like, not a fun note to end these. It's way more fun when we can end them on like the the, you know, dying from self indulgence or being killed by their people or whatever. But like, he's in power and he'll probably be in power for decades. He's only he's not even 40 yet. Like, yeah, well, if if whenever his rain ends, if the if the pod's still going, if climate change hasn't rendered a podcast obsolete, we should talk about it again. Yeah, we we can we can finish his story either. A podcast, or in what I'm sure will be the the method of communication of the future, which is shouting into conch shells from underneath dead power lines like the troubadours used to do. Yeah, like the troubadours of old. Yeah, yeah. Well, Eli, you got some plegables to plug. Yes, please, at Eli Olsberg on all the socials and you can listen to closure of the podcast that never ends on iTunes Spotify ever get your podcast. And we talk about, I just interview people in regards to certain events or situations in their lives or anything they want to talk about and if they found closure in it, much like we haven't found closure in the story. And yeah, you could also listen to Todd as a woman, which I co-host with Theresa Lee. And we do track by track breakdowns of Ariana Grande songs and what our guests. Like them or not? And lastly, if you're in LA, please come to performance anxiety at the ******** ***** second Tuesday of every. Check out performance anxiety at the treasure chest. Check out elie's treasure treasure chest, ******** ***** ******** *****. Oh, that's a way better name than treasure chest. Check out elia's podcasts and, you know, check out this podcast online Find us on Twitter, at Instagram and FSU pod. This is the episode that everybody wanted me to do, and I'm sorry that it ends with no closure and that it's not nearly as funny as as you were all hoping for. But this is the the best information I could bring you on the Kim, so be careful what you ******* ask for. Sometimes it's just a bummer. That's the episode by A T-shirt on We're we're done. Go, go build your own roots. The only way to be safe. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. 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