In the sad dictator state that is North Korea, the word of leader Kim Jong-un is law.
The supreme leader has a history of making sweeping purges and executions of his top leadership staff (he once had a security minister executed by flamethrower), as well as keeping the inhabitants of his nation in a state of supreme poverty and hardship. On top of making sure his subjects have limited access to wealth or outside influences, his authorities make sure that nobody says anything untoward about the man labelled, “Outstanding Leader” by state media.
Obviously, looking like he does, Kim Jong-un has been the butt of many a joke and meme since he took over from his father, Kim Jong-il. While it might be funny for Western media agencies, websites and magazines to poke fun at North Korea’s top dog, it seems that some of his own soldiers are now in hot water.
Reports today suggest that a number of military personnel have been arrested, after mocking the controversial dictator. A source told Radio Free Asia that the men involved are set to face severe punishments for their actions: “News of cadres of the second army corps slandering Kim Jong-un reached all the way to the People’s Army’s General Political Bureau, and the arrested cadres are to be severely punished”.
So what did the men involved actually say? Well, according to the UPI, the unfortunate joke “compared Kim Jong-un to a kindergartener”, while another referred to the supreme leader as a mental patient. Other reports have revealed a jibe where soldiers claimed Kim Jong-un was worse than both his dad Kim Jong-il and his grandfather Kim Il-sung – earning him the hilarious nickname “Kim Squared”.
Sadly though, the outcome for these soldiers might not be so funny. Stories in recent years have revealed the extent of the leader’s cruelty. After executing his own uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2013, he then went on to kill his direct relatives as further punishment for trying to overthrow the regime. If this is what this maniacal man will do to his own family, then the situation looks bleak for any citizen bold enough to challenge his authority.
This story comes merely a few weeks after Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother was assassinated in a Malaysian airport by two women. According to local police, the women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a U.N. list of weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam’s face in the assault. A strong critic of North Korea, Kim Jong Nam was living under Chinese protection before his death. Both women claimed they had been paid to take part in what they believed was a prank for a reality television show. There are of course severe concerns that Kim Jong-un ordered the assassination.
While the world waits to see what the harsh North Korean regime has in store for these unruly military men, one thing is clear – Kim Jong-un does not suffer defiance or rebellion in any form, and the outcome does not look at all rosy.