Wednesday, December 2, 2009

North Korean monuments around the world

So apparently North Korea has another cash cow along with drugs, counterfeit money and cigarettes, and nuclear extortion – scary authoritarian-ish monuments. The blog North Korea Economy Watch has the scoop, along with links to pictures of monuments that North Korean workers – apparently skilled in bronze work – have built around the world. (And by "world," I mean a few select hellholes in Africa and the Middle East.)

Astute North Korea watchers will realize that the Hermit Kingdom has been exporting its particularly nasty brand of authoritarianism long before the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, took over from the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung. Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania, the Eastern Bloc leader with the strongest cult of personality, is said to have learned everything he knew about being a creepy cultish dictator from a trip to China, North Korea, and Vietnam in 1971 (.pdf).

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