Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A kinder and gentler abomination?

I am not the only one who has wondered out loud whether Prodigious Progeny Kim Jong-ŭn could actually turn out to be North Korea's Gorbachev, or at least North Korea's Deng Xiaoping. And in that vein, it's easy to imagine (or at least hope) that a birthday amnesty could be a signal of better things to come.

Or maybe North Korea's Dukakis?

From the BBC:
North Korea says it will grant an amnesty for prisoners to mark the birthdays of two late leaders.

State news agency KCNA said that the amnesty would begin from 1 February, in honour of Kim Jong-il, who died last month, and his father Kim Il-sung.

No information was given as to how many prisoners would be released or who.

Amnesty International estimates as many as 200,000 people are being held in political prison camps around the country.

KCNA said that the amnesty embodied the "noble, benevolent and all-embracing politics of President Kim Il-sung and leader Kim Jong-il".
The Dear Leader's seventieth birthday and the Great Leader's hundredth birthday are both auspicious occasions (yeah, yeah, I know they're dead, but birthdays get marked anyway, just like with Jesus and Buddha, though the latter are likely in an environment closer to room-temperature), and that could be just the excuse that the reformists — if in fact they exist — may need in order to release thousands and therefore nudge things toward normalcy.

We'll have to wait and see.


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