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Although the majority of North Korea does not have much in way of electricity at night, Kim Jong-il has no problem navigating the Internet.  (Source: Global Security)
Kim Jong-il claims to be the world's Internet expert; Al Gore jealous

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun this week in the North Korean city of Kaesong. This meeting is only the second ever meeting between North and South Korean leaders.

One topic of conversation during the meeting put forth by Roh was a request that South Korean companies operating in an industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong be allowed the use of the Internet.

The response from the Dear Leader, according to Yahoo! News, was, “I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired.”

Kim went on to say, “If that problem is addressed, there is no reason not to open [web access].” Kim did not elaborate on the "many problems" caused by opening Internet access to all of North Korea, though clearly the intention of Roh's suggestion is to increase North Korean exposure to South Korean and Western influence.

North Korea explicitly prohibits its 23 million citizens from accessing the Internet and mobile phones outside of government research groups. South Korea, by comparison, is one of the world's most digitally connected countries.

However, given the secretive nature of just about everything in North Korea, it's been difficult to even ascertain just how "connected" Kim actually is. Satellite photographs of North Korea at night reveal very few lights, indicating the country does not have a very high capacity for electricity, let alone computers or Internet.

What is known, is that Kim and the ruling party has a definitive taste for all things Western. Kim's son, Jong-nam, was arrested and expelled from Japan while trying to enter Disney Land in 2001.  Late last year, the U.S. imposed a ban on all luxuries originating from the U.S. destined for North Korea, including the Great Leader's beloved iPods.

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RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By masher2 on 10/6/2007 1:47:11 PM , Rating: 5
> "you cannot judge Kim's character because of the shortage of electricity"

You can judge the standard of living in the nation by its lack of electricity. Access to electricity is one of the strongest civilizing agents there is. Without it, people have no labor-saving electric motors, no refrigeration, no electric heating or cooling, and no lighting...a lack particularly troublesome in winter months, when light is available only a few hours per day.

Kim Jong-il himself has electricity, a fleet of Mercedes, and (apparently) Internet access, while his people forage for roots and berries to avoid starving to death...quite often unsuccesfully. He's spent tens of billions to develop nuclear weapons, yet can't even provide electricity to his people? They're trapped in the worst 19th century Dickensonian nightmare one can imagine, while their leader lives the life of a 21st century tycoon.

I think we very well can judge his character by that.

RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By B on 10/6/2007 6:04:50 PM , Rating: 3
You forgot to mention that he has one of the world's largest collections of porn, Looney Toons Movies and DVDs. [Not sarcasm, this is a documented fact.]

Clearly, he leads a life of luxury while his people worry about their next meal.

RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By vortmax on 10/8/2007 12:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
So, what is the world to do about this massive humanitarian catastrophy?

RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By Gibby82 on 10/9/2007 6:28:23 AM , Rating: 3
One strategically placed bullet would help.

RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By wordsworm on 10/11/2007 7:26:24 AM , Rating: 2

by Gibby82 on October 9, 2007 at 6:28 AM

Spoken like a true American.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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