International

Remembering Kim Jong Il ... And His Parka

For three generations now, the dynastic Kims who have ruled North Korea for more than six decades have been a rich source for parodies.

Before Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, his trademark pompadour hairdo attracted its share of attention.

Kim Jong Il and his favorite parka in 2009. i i

Kim Jong Il and his favorite parka in 2009. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption STR/AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Il and his favorite parka in 2009.

Kim Jong Il and his favorite parka in 2009.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

And just recently, The Onion not only named his son Kim Jong Un the "sexiest man alive" but did so with such conviction that China's People's Daily Online picked up the story and added its own tribute, a comprehensive photo gallery.

So we approached this latest story with some caution.

To mark the first anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death, the official Korean Central News Agency produced this three-minute paean to Kim's favorite parka, a puffy, off-white number that he wore when making field inspections of troops and factories and farms.

"The Korean people warmly look back again upon his noble life. They are reminded of the parka worn by him until the last period of his life," the narrator intones.

Kim started wearing it after his father, dictator Kim Il Sung, died in 1994, and it apparently never went out of style, even though it became "threadbare and discolored," we are told.

There's not a whole lot more we can say. Just listen.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.