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The D-list condolences for Kim Jong Il

Although Americans haven’t cried over the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, funeralized today with great showmanship in Pyongyang, it has been a sad time for groups like the Congolese Socialist Party, who "will continue their mourning until the day of the ceremony of bidding farewell to his bier." The Korean Central News ...

KCNA/AFP/Getty Images
KCNA/AFP/Getty Images

Although Americans haven't cried over the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, funeralized today with great showmanship in Pyongyang, it has been a sad time for groups like the Congolese Socialist Party, who "will continue their mourning until the day of the ceremony of bidding farewell to his bier." The Korean Central News Agency repoted that Syria's Baath Arab Socialist Party sent condolences that "the world movement for liberation and peace lost the most prominent fighter who had defended the people's right from highhanded practices and supremacy by the world imperialists;" and the former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, who also happens to be co-chairman of the (get ready for it) International Preparatory Committee for Commemorating the Centenary of Birth of the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung, sent a wreath.

North Korea is obsessed with showing the outside world the level of respect its leaders command. Kim Il Sung's memorial palace features an honorary degree from the fraudulent Kensington University, and Kim Jong Il's "International Friendship Exhibition" proudly showcases hundreds of thousands of gifts he received as tribute, including a basketball Madeleine Albright brought, signed by Michael Jordan, and a coffee table from Robert Mugabe, made from the leg of an elephant.

Although Americans haven’t cried over the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, funeralized today with great showmanship in Pyongyang, it has been a sad time for groups like the Congolese Socialist Party, who "will continue their mourning until the day of the ceremony of bidding farewell to his bier." The Korean Central News Agency repoted that Syria’s Baath Arab Socialist Party sent condolences that "the world movement for liberation and peace lost the most prominent fighter who had defended the people’s right from highhanded practices and supremacy by the world imperialists;" and the former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, who also happens to be co-chairman of the (get ready for it) International Preparatory Committee for Commemorating the Centenary of Birth of the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung, sent a wreath.

North Korea is obsessed with showing the outside world the level of respect its leaders command. Kim Il Sung’s memorial palace features an honorary degree from the fraudulent Kensington University, and Kim Jong Il’s "International Friendship Exhibition" proudly showcases hundreds of thousands of gifts he received as tribute, including a basketball Madeleine Albright brought, signed by Michael Jordan, and a coffee table from Robert Mugabe, made from the leg of an elephant.

Other than the Chinese leadership, those offering condolences have been mostly D-list political celebrities, from the chairman of the National Democratic Party of Mongolia to the president of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). But at least it means that the KCNA, the only source with a full report of these tributes and one of the world’s least dependable news agencies, is probably telling the truth.

Isaac Stone Fish is a journalist and senior fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S-China Relations. He was formerly the Asia editor at Foreign Policy Magazine. Twitter: @isaacstonefish

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