Kim’s unfathomable lavish lifestyleFormer NBA star Dennis Rodman, who made a second visit to North Korea last month at the invitation of its leader, Kim Jong-un, who claimed to be a big fan, revealed that the third-generation leader not only inherited omnipotent power, but also his father’s notorious penchant for luxury goods and a lavish lifestyle.
In an interview with the British tabloid The Sun, Rodman offered a glimpse of the not-yet-30-year-old leader’s “seven-star” lifestyle of yachts, parties and extravagant food. Rodman said he spent his seven-day visit last month lounging, smoking cigars and drinking on Kim’s private island.
Rodman said, “It’s like going to Hawaii or Ibiza, but he’s the only one who lives there.
“If you drink a bottle of tequila, it’s the best tequila. Everything you want, he has the best. Everything on the private island was in impeccable seven-star accommodations.”
He cruised on Kim’s 200-foot yacht that was “a cross between a ferry and a Disney boat.”
The account by Rodman, who is the only Westerner to befriend the North Korean leader, may be true. Regardless of conditions of extreme poverty, where many starve due to protracted international sanctions, Kim, who succeeded to supreme power in the isolated communist nation two years ago, was enjoying the most extravagant lifestyle in the world.
North Korea has relied on international aid and donations to feed its people for decades. Yet its leader is partying and savoring a glamorous and luxurious life even multibillionaires would envy. Only monarchs of the ancient world and Middle Ages were that cruel and insensitive toward the suffering of their people. Kim’s lavish spending habits and taste portrays the world’s last time-worn despot.
When Kim, who had been educated in Switzerland, came to power, many hoped he would be a more reform-minded leader who would care for his starving people.
But from the trajectory of the past two years, including missile and nuclear tests, he has proved to be just the opposite. Rodman said Kim wanted a new relationship with the United States. But it is unlikely that Washington will open up to a leader who is more preoccupied with feeding himself rather than his own people.
The international community should pay more heed to the corruption and luxury the elite minority enjoys at the expense of their poor people.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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