George Bush is wrong to claim that North Korea is a “rogue state”.
A rogue sounds a bit naughty. A sort of rascal from a Dickens tale. In fact North Korea is nearer to being a cult state. It is surely the kind of place Scientologist founder L.Ron Hubbard would have had dianetical wet dreams about.
This is a country after all that ten days ago celebrated New Year not by bringing in 2003 but the year Juche 92.
The calendar of the Democratic People Republic of Korea was ‘re-organised’ after the ‘revolution’ to begin at the year zero of the birth of the ‘dear leader’ (or is it beloved leader?) the late Kim Il Sung, father of the current leader and the creator of the Juche (self-reliance) principle
So what was Juche New Year in North Korea like then?
Well where better to look than the amazing homepage of the remarkable Korean Central News Agency?
Pyongyang, January 9 (KCNA) –Working people throughout the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are stepping up production in different sectors of the national economy, encouraged by the new year joint editorial published by the newspapers of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the army and the youth. The Pyongyang Thermal Power Complex has overfulfilled its daily assignments from the first days of the New Year by fully exploring inner resources to solve the shortage of heavy oil and keeping the generators in full-capacity operation under difficult conditions.
The Sunchon District Youth Coal Mining Complex has also carried out its daily quotas by arousing coal miners to attain the New Year’s goal to create 66 coalfields, introduce a new coal mining method and put the computerization of coal production on a high level.
From the beginning of the year, the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex has increased the coke and sinter output 1.2 times the figure at the end of last year by keeping furnaces in good conditions and machines in full-capacity operation. The Songjin Steel Complex is topping its daily targets in molten iron and rolled steel production by considerably decreasing the standards of electricity consumption per ton of steel and increasing the frequency of teeming.
Such achievements in production have also been reported from the Rakwon Machine Complex, the Sinyang and Puryong forestry stations under the North Hamgyong Provincial Forestry Complex, the June 4 rolling-stock works, the Sinuiju Comestics Factory and other industrial establishments.
For the elite however it was an entirely different occasion.
Pyongyang, January 9 (KCNA) — Russian Ambassador to the DPRK Andrei Karlov hosted a friendly gathering at the embassy on Wednesday evening on the occasion of the New Year, Juche 92 (2003). Present at the gathering on invitation were Minister Paek Nam Sun and Vice-Minister Kung Sok Ung of Foreign Affairs and officials concerned. Speeches were made there.
I bet they were.
But what about the New Year over in South Korea? According to the KCNA, celebrations were wrecked by the Yankee imperialists:
Pyongyang, January 9 (KCNA) — A GI broke a windowpane of a shop in Chunchon city, Kangwon province at the dawn of the New Year’s Day and two GIs damaged a car in a parking lot on Jan. 4. In this regard Rodong Sinmun Thursday in a signed commentary says that more crimes committed by the U.S. imperialist troops in South Korea from the outset of the New Year only go to prove that they are a group of ruthless hooligans and beasts in human skin steeped in misanthropy to the marrow of their bones.
Happy Juche New Year to you all.