[Outlook]The dear leader speaks

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[Outlook]The dear leader speaks

I am Kim Jong-il, and these days I am very, very happy. The Bush administration used to say that I should not dream about having talks with them, but they were scared by our nuclear test and had direct talks with us. The Bush administration used to say there was no chance of releasing the frozen North Korean bank accounts at Banco Delta Asia’s but they have now released all our funds. My people need to hear this: “Comrades, I know you’re hungry, but cheer up. George W. Bush has been forced to kneel to us!”
In South Korea, the Grand National Party and the ruling circle’s preparations for the presidential primaries are going well for me.
I was having nightmares at the prospect that Lee Myung-bak or Park Geun-hye could become president.
But this helpful duo are fighting like crazy over the rules for their party’s primary, so the GNP is on the verge of splitting. I truly appreciate their kind efforts.
The Grand National Party seemed like it had moderated its hard-line policy on North Korea, so I was worried that their approval rating would go up. But the discussion about the change evaporated without anybody noticing. So that is truly fortunate as well.
I hope that Lee and Park will stick to the old paradigm of the Cold War and lose as many votes as possible.
A series of visits to Pyongyang by Uri Party members have done most to save my face. They beg me to have a summit meeting with Roh Moo-hyun, saying the location is unimportant ― it could be Seoul, Kaesong, or Mount Kumgang. Among these visitors, those who have their eye on the presidency promise all kinds of assistance and ask for my support in what they imagine to be subtle ways. They plan to visit Pyongyang as a roundabout way of getting into the Blue House, which is truly praiseworthy. It gives the impression that South Korea’s presidential election actually takes place in Pyongyang. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be happy about this? It’s good being a rogue nation that everyone wants to be nice to!
I want a presidential hopeful that Roh Moo-hyun supports to be elected, of course. Goh Kun and Chung Un-chan are from the bourgeois class. They have enjoyed excessive privileges all their lives. Sohn Hak-kyu has a very weak base. Chung Dong-young said that he would provide us with 2 million kilowatts of electric energy when he visited me in 2005, but he is at odds with Roh so I can’t support him.
I was worried when Roh’s popularity went down the drain. But I felt better after I was told that, in South Korea, the incumbent president has enormous influence over the presidential election campaign, even if his approval rating is close to rock bottom. In his remarks, Roh talked about the flaws of Goh Kun and Chung Un-chan and severely criticized Chung Dong-young and Kim Geun-tae, another Uri party leader. It seems that he is already throwing his weight around.
When party primaries are over and the real election campaign begins, I think Roh will be extremely anxious to meet with me. I am weighing his possible suggestions. Nobody knows how exciting this is. I heard that people who criticize Roh call my influence the “North wind.” Supporters of Roh will promote that as a card for peace, I assume.
I can see how desperately Roh wants to have a summit meeting with me because he uses his incompetent aide as a secret agent in North Korea. Shall I meet him in June, when the first-step measures of the Feb. 13 agreement are due to be completed? Or maybe not? I can’t expect a large package of gifts, like those I got when I met Kim Dae-jung in 2000. But if I talk about “grand” things, like peace on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region and thereby get a huge amount of rice, fertilizer and industrial resources in return, that will be “a profitable business,” an expression Roh is fond of using.
Will I abandon nuclear weapons as I promised in the six-party talks? I’m not sure. But I’m sure about one thing. I will not make the mistake of giving reasons for Washington to retreat before the Sept. 19 joint statement. I am more inclined to the theatrical diplomacy of signing a treaty to end the Korean War, an idea Bush mentioned briefly last November in Hanoi. If I just promise to give up nuclear arms and Roh, Bush, Hu Jintao and I get together and announce a new era of peace on the Korean Peninsula, that will make a wonderful scene. I can even expect a Nobel Peace Prize. I still can’t believe that Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize for himself! I’m so angry and jealous.
Anyway, if my plans bear fruit, South Korean voters, who are usually quick to change their minds, will be enthralled by the peaceful mood and they will vote for the presidenial candidate backed by Roh. That’s the by-product I expect.
The fools at the Grand National Party are too busy fighting to guess what I am thinking. How wonderful they are! Long live both South Korean brainy leftists and Grand National idiots!

*The writer is a senior columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo. Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.

by Kim Young-hie
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