Korea Leader

After independence, Mugabe was at first prime minister.
But his first visit to North Korea had an enormous impact on him.
"He came back almost a different man.
He was tremendously impressed by the stadiums full of people doing mass callisthenics
and colour displays spelling out Kim's name or even depicting his face.
He came back wanting to change the constitution
so that he could become president, like Kim."


What particularly appealed to Mugabe was that the North Koreans were experts
in the far blacker art of political indoctrination, having honed their skills in the
notorious "brain-washing" of U.S. and British prisoners in the Korean War.
The essential principle was that if, by physical torture, isolation and relentless humiliation,
you could break down someone's personality, it was then possible to
re-mould it along more "acceptable" lines.

Pyongyang's man in Harare
For 30 years, Robert Mugabe has idolized north Korea's Stalinist leadership
by R.W. Johnson, National Post, Aug 11, 2007

Visitors to the offices of high-ranking officials in Robert Mugabe's beleaguered government in recent weeks have noticed the same book open for study: Juche! The Speeches and Writings of Kim Il Sung. "Some may actually believe this stuff, but it's more that they want to understand where the President is coming from," one insider told me.

It appears that those who have become anxious about Mugabe's Canute-like attempt to order inflation of 7,000% to be halved and to subordinate the economy in general to his political will, is not just acting wildly. He has a model: North Korea's Great Leader who, though he died in 1994, is still enshrined in that country's constitution as "president for eternity." (To this day, the current ruler, his son Kim Jong-Il, never actually uses the title of president.) Receiving the new North Korean ambassador in May this year, Mugabe told him that North Korea had been a guiding light and friend ever since it began to aid his ZANU guerrilla army, Zanla, in the 1970s, and that "everything in Zimbabwe is associated with the exploits of president Kim Il Sung."

Because Joshua Nkomo's rival ZAPU movement was aligned with South Africa's African National Congress during this period, and thus with the orthodox Moscow-led Soviet bloc, ZANU perforce had to find its foreign funders and arms-suppliers elsewhere, in Beijing and Pyongyang. This was a rare breakthrough for Kim Il Sung, so when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, it immediately became North Korea's most ambitious diplomatic objective. Hundreds of North Korean military advisers arrived, not only training but equipping much of Mugabe's army, particularly the notorious Fifth Brigade. Indeed, for a few years North Korea even dreamt of emulating the Cuban model. From its Zimbabwean base, it deployed over 3,000 troops helping the Angolan, Mozambican and Ethiopian governments.

What particularly appealed to Mugabe, however, was that the North Koreans were not only experts in martial arts but in the far blacker art of political indoctrination, having honed their skills in the notorious "brain-washing" of U.S. and British prisoners in the Korean War. The essential principle was that if, by physical torture, isolation and relentless humiliation, you could break down someone's personality, it was then possible to re-mould it along more "acceptable" lines.

The full horror of such techniques, first glimpsed in Zanla's liberation war tactics, was fully revealed only in the mid-1980s when Mugabe ordered the Fifth Brigade to repress political opposition in the Matabeleland region. Using North Korean terminology, Mugabe explained that "The people there had their chance and they voted as they did. The situation there has to be changed. The people must be re-oriented."

Some 20,000 people died in the resulting campaign of torture and murder, but it was not just repression pure and simple. What the villagers grew to fear most was the dreadful all-night singing sessions in which they would have to sing ZANU songs with cheerful enthusiasm at the same time that they were savagely beaten; when they would not only have to watch as friends or family members were tortured or shot but would themselves have to assist in the process -- the emphasis always being on achieving their utter humiliation and incrimination so that they could re-emerge at the end as Mugabe loyalists.

One great focus of such loyalty would be the pilgrimage to Heroes Acre, the 140-acre site in the capital of Harare, which commemorates the heroes of the liberation war. Its huge granite obelisk and Stalinist architecture were North Korean-designed, such monuments being a regime speciality. (Kim Il Sung erected over 34,000 monuments to himself.)

Kim first announced his philosophy of Juche ("self-reliance") in 1972, whereafter North Korea cut itself off from almost all foreign trade and defaulted on all its foreign debts -- steps which Zimbabwe has now emulated. According to Juche, "man is the master of everything and decides everything," and the most important work of "revolution and construction is moulding people ideologically as good Communists with absolute loyalty to the Party and Leader."

Kim had realized that to achieve this, he needed to isolate North Korea from all outside influences --crimes such as singing a South Korean pop song or reading a foreign newspaper carry a life sentence. Kim would have strongly approved of Mugabe's recent expulsion of foreign media, his crackdown on the independent press and his slavish broadcast outlets. Indeed, Mugabe's Herald newspaper has carried laudatory articles about Juche.

After independence, Mugabe was at first prime minister. But his first visit to North Korea had an enormous impact on him. "He came back almost a different man," one of his former party stalwarts told me. "He was tremendously impressed by the stadiums full of people doing mass callisthenics and colour displays spelling out Kim's name or even depicting his face. He came back wanting to change the constitution so that he could become president, like Kim."

Nicolae Ceaucescu, the Romanian dictator, was similarly affected by his visit to Pyongyang, and returned to Bucharest to launch his "systematization" program, knocking down old buildings and churches in order to build marching lines of apartments, North Korean style. Mugabe and Ceaucescu became close to one another so that the downfall and assassination of the Ceaucescus in 1989 were a trauma in Harare, and all news of the event was snatched off TV screens. The fall of Cambodia's Pol Pot, who had also embraced Juche, was similarly unwelcome news in Harare.

When Kim, the Great Leader, died in 1994, the Gregorian calendar was abolished in North Korea, and a new calendar installed in which Year One is 1912 (Kim's year of birth), and in which the first day is April 15, Kim's birthday. Zimbabwe set up its own Committee to Honour the Memory of Kim Il Sung, chaired by Vice-President Joseph Msika. This holds a special month of mourning for Kim every year, with lectures, seminars and a memorial service "praying for his eternity."

The birthday of Kim's son, Kim Jong-Il, "the dear leader," is effectively celebrated as the North Korean Christmas: he is "the central brain," "a genius of 10,000 talents" and "the morning star."

Mugabe, whose birthday (Feb. 21) falls only five days later, has now copied this: He too is celebrated as "our dear leader" with the same mass synchronized dancing by women in traditional dress and army parades. Feasts are also staged--even though, as in North Korea, the faithful celebrants are often near starvation.

"The central idea is also the same: Everything, including the economy, can be commanded and made to fall into line with the Leader's will," one close Mugabe-watcher told me. "In North Korea, anyone unable to live with that ended up in the gulag or fled as refugees to China, so you ended up with a country where everyone left was totally obedient. This is undoubtedly Mugabe's model." In both countries, regimes starting out as Marxist have both ended up as apostles of extreme monarchical authority.

Juche, like Mugabe's radical socialism, was a fraud. In reality, North Korea depended utterly on Soviet aid, just as liberated Zimbabwe's economy depended completely on a few thousand white farmers. When Soviet aid ceased in 1991, North Korea's income halved and mass starvation ensued, just as it has in Zimbabwe following the eviction of the white farmers. Anywhere up to three million North Koreans died, but Kim Jong-Il simply denied the facts of starvation and at first turned away food aid. Mugabe did exactly the same. When the World Food Programme offered to help Zimbabwe's starving in 2004, he asked "Why foist this food upon us? We do not want to be choked, we have enough." In the end, both regimes have become massively dependent on foreign food aid.

This week, Zimbabwe's Parliament faces Mugabe's proposed constitutional amendment enabling him to choose his own successor and impose him without an election. This, too, exactly imitates the way in which Kim Il Sung designated his own successor; and it allowed Kim to continue to be celebrated long after his death.

But there is something else to which Mugabe might pay heed. Although Kim Jong-Il declared three years of mourning for his father, spent nearly $1-billion on his mausoleum and declared two national flowers for the country, Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia, his father's death from a heart attack and "heavy mental strains" followed a bitter argument with his son and is still clouded with suspicion. Kim Jong-Il would not allow doctors to enter his father's room till long after the death. And all the doctors, as well as his father's bodyguards, were immediately killed in a series of helicopter "accidents." Other functionaries who had been close to his father all quickly disappeared without trace.

So while North Koreans are encouraged to believe that Kim Il Sung still rules and watches over the country, it seems likely that the great man's end was more like the usual tyrant's exit.


10.Rulers and 35.The Brotherhood and 2.Big Brother and 39.Interrogation & Torture and 40.Electric Shock Brainwashing and 41.The Party Tells 'How' and 42.The Party Tells 'Why' and 6.SuperStates and 7.Systems of Thought

Tribute to Ian Smith (one of Africa's all time greatest) & "It was better under Smith" (black Zimbabweans admired him for unbending blunt criticism of Mugabe; opinions they dared not utter) & PM of Rhodesia for 15 turbulant years (economy strengthened in isolation) & Rhodesia's hero Ian Smith dies (his Western constitutional principles opposed Marxist-Leninist Mugabe) & Ian Smith obituary: 1919-2007 (best health, education & housing for black people in all Africa) & Ian Smith: first leader of Rhodesia (Prime Minister 1964 - 1979; independence from Britain 1965) & Rhodesia's good old Smithy dies ("civil war was caused by people who were brainwashed in Russia & China"). November 20, 2007

Pyongyang's man in Harare (For 30 years, Robert Mugabe has idolized north Korea's Stalinist leadership. Predictably, the two nations now share the same disastrous fate). National Post, Aug 11, 2007

For the two Koreas, cautious steps toward rapprochement (It's going to be a lovefest!). SanFranChronical, Aug 9, 2007
Well, maybe not quite. (Can anything related to dour North Korea ever be fun?) However, the diplomatic tête-à-tête that officials from the cash-strapped, communist North and from booming, capitalist South Korea have announced they have scheduled in Pyongyang later this month may advance by a few steps the complex pas de deux the uneasy neighbors have been performing in recent years with the aim of maybe, somehow, someday putting aside their differences and reuniting. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il and South Korea's former president, Kim Dae-jung, met in Pyongyang in June 2000. Now it's South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's turn to meet his big-haired, communist, northern neighbor. South Korean President Roh's efforts to ease tensions with Kim's regime have not been popular among all of his countrymen. What's in it for each side? North Korea could benefit from better relations with its prosperous southern neighbor, from which it would love to receive desperately needed aid of all kinds. South Korea hopes closer ties with the North may convince big-haired Kim to drop his big nuclear ambitions and dismantle his ominous nuke-development program. A statement issued by President Roh Moo-hyun's office said: "The second inter-Korean summit is expected to contribute to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. The talks will also provide momentum to settle the North Korean nuclear problem." Of the imminent Roh-Kim talkfest, the U.S. State Department observed: "This is the result of efforts and discussions that have been going on for some time, and the United States was advised in advance by [South Korea[ about this meeting...."

Zimbabweans swimming Limpopo river (crocodiles, 3 layers of fence in hope of job in South Africa) & Zimbabwe & China best friends (UN says nothing wrong with economy & human rights). BBC/AllAfrica, Jul 21, 2007

China Macau unblocks N Korea funds (communists won't de-nuclearize Korea until US$25-million transferred) & North Korea kids go hungry (USA & S Korea give food & funds direct to communist gov't) & Food crisis in North Korea (members of military & communist Party are the only recipients of food). BBC/Seattle/Epoch Times, Apr 10, 2007

Ban Ki-moon appointed next UN Secretary-General by acclamation. UN News Center, Oct 13, 2006
Applauding in acclamation, the United Nations General Assembly today appointed Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea as the world body’s next Secretary-General, to succeed Kofi Annan when he steps down on 31 December. Smiling, waving and nodding to the members of the 192-nation body, the man who will become the world’s top diplomat for five years on 1 January, was escorted by the UN Chief of Protocol through the Assembly central aisle to the podium. Addressing the assembled delegates, the Secretary-General-designate, who will be the UN’s eighth chief and the second from Asia, pledged to carry out reforms, building on Mr. Annan’s legacy....Mr. Annan hailed Mr. Ban as a “future Secretary-General who is exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent – a man with a truly global mind at the helm of the world’s only universal organization....They paid tribute to Mr. Annan for his work in steering the UN through 10 difficult years. After the speeches, Mr. Ban stood with his wife in front of the blue and white UN flag depicting a globe of the world in its centre to receive the congratulations of delegates and UN staff. The last Asian Secretary-General was U Thant of Myanmar (then called Burma), who left office in 1971.

Ban Ki-moon replaces Kofi Annan (Korean now has top UN job). AustraliaNews, Oct 11, 2006. Go to 2.Big Brother & 5.Pyramidal now & UN's GOOFY-I-AM & MCCARTHY'S UN THOUGHTS

North Korea tests nuclear bomb (China & Russia its closest allies). JapanTimes, Oct 9, 2006. Go to 13.Weapons

Despair at UN over selection of 'faceless' Ban Ki-moon as general secretary (US pushed for weakest candidate). Guardian, Oct 7, 2007
Senior officials at the United Nations expressed despair yesterday at the prospect of Kofi Annan being succeeded as secretary general by Ban Ki-moon, the South Korean foreign minister. "The mood among staff is glum," one of the officials said. "We are not very excited about the outcome." With morale low at the UN after five years dominated by divisions, deadlock and corruption, they are sceptical about Mr Ban's ability to turn the organisation round or provide the strong, inspirational leadership they had been hoping for. Another official, who has met Mr Ban several times, said: "He is pretty faceless and does not have much charisma....Officials, who requested anonymity on the grounds that they would be working for Mr Ban, portray him as more secretary than general, happier with the minutiae of administrative detail than broad strategy, and a man given to platitudes.... The 15 members of the UN security council are scheduled to vote on Monday to confirm Mr Ban, aged 62. He would take over on January 1, initially for a five-year term, although most secretary generals are offered the chance to serve a further five years... The general assembly is expected to rubber-stamp the security council's choice, as it has done in the past....Although Mr Ban was supported by Britain and France in the straw poll, they did so reluctantly, according to one UN insider. In private both countries wanted the selection process to run for another month or so in the hope that a more impressive candidate might come forward. In the end, they concluded it was not feasible to hold out against the enthusiastic backing of the US, China and Russia....One UN official said sarcastically that it had just been "an accident of history" that South Korea's largesse to Africa coincided with the secretary general's selection....Mr Ban, born in Chungju in 1944, won a US-sponsored English contest at school that allowed him to travel to America to meet President John F Kennedy, a encounter Mr Ban claims inspired him to enter public service. He has a wry sense of humour. When he enrolled at the John F Kennedy school of government at Harvard in 1983 he introduced himself as JFK. When eyebrows were raised, he said: "Just From Korea."...

North Korea rushes to finish reactor (enough weapons-grade plutonium for 10 atomic bombs annually). Washington Post, Nov 9, 2005

North Korea nuclear talks to be brief (demanding a light water power reactor as part of outside aid). VOA, Nov 4, 2005

*North Korea: Nuclear Program. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
...After extended negotiation, North Korea and the United States entered into the "Agreed Framework" on Oct. 21, 1994. Under the deal, North Korea would suspend all work at the Yongbyon complex, end all efforts to enrich plutonium for weapons and open its facilities to international oversight. In exchange for these moves, the U.S. would supply North Korea with two light water reactors (LWRs) to generate electricity, and low-cost oil to help with energy needs until the reactors are built. The agreement also promised a lifting of most economic sanctions against North Korea, and improved diplomatic relations with the United States...."If the two light water reactors slated to be built in North Korea are operated to optimize power production, they will discharge about 500 kg of reactor-grade plutonium a year in highly radioactive spent fuel....Oil deliveries began in early 1995....The U.S., South Korea, Japan and several other countries came together to form the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) to build the reactors.... Kim Jong Il's government could produce more than a dozen atomic bombs a year.



PoWs from Korean War still held (North Korea admits abducting 52 years ago). Telegraph, Oct 25, 2005


Real history of Korean War (heroic MacArthur deserves credit for saving S Korea from communist domination). Seoul Times, Oct 18, 2005


Remake of Manchurian Candidate coming (Sinatra's daughter Nancy produces). National Post, Jul 21, 2004. Go to 16.Minitrue & 25.Prolefeed & THE MANIRAQIAN CANDIDATE

POW flies out of North Korea (faces court martial in USA). CNS News, Jul 21, 2004. Go to 40.Electric Shock Brainwashing & 7.Systems & 22.Doublethink UNLCE SAM SAYS POW DESERTED

POWs FORGOTTEN IN KOREA (for POWs, Korea was not America's "Forgotten War"). Scripps Howard News Service

NKorea has long-range missiles (capable of hitting America). Space Daily, Feb 9, 2003. Go to ARMING OUR ENEMIES

USA labels soldier a deserter (says he willingly stayed in NKorea & will court-martial if he leaves). Stars & Stripes, Nov 30, 2002

MOVIE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (North Korea captured USA soldiers)

N Korea admits nuclear arsenal ("to cope with threats from USA"). BBC, Nov 18, 2002. Go to 6.Superstates and ARMING OUR ENEMIES

Forgotten war has real graves (Canadians 3rd largest group buried in a UN Memorial Cemetary in Busan, Korea. Ages of the dear on simple, flat, stone markers are 18, 22, 19, 25, 21 and on it goes 378 times). National Post, Nov 9, 2002

N/Korea has nuclear bomb (Russia & China sent parts). London Times, Oct 19, 2002

USA built N/Korea's reactors (and supplied heavy oil). New York Times, Oct 19, 2002


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com