Strange news out of Best Korea today: A new report suggests that the country’s de facto dictator Kim Jong Un has given his top officials each a copy of Adolf Hitler’s classic Mein Kampf.
Most books are actually banned in North Korea, meaning that, if Kim Jong Un hands you a copy of Mein Kampf, you had better darn well read it. To celebrate his birthday, Un did just that according to New Focus International, a North Korean media group that gathers reports from defectors and volunteer citizens in the country.
“Kim Jong Un gave a lecture to high-ranking officials, stressing that we must pursue the policy of Byungjin in terms of nuclear and economic development,” said the anonymous source.
“Byungjin” translates “in tandem,” and refers to the plot to develop the economy and the country’s nuclear programs at the same time.
“Mentioning that Hitler managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War One, Kim Jong Un issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it.”
The Washington Post mocked Un’s attempt to curate smart economic strategy from Mein Kampf, which they said is “rich in fulminating ideology but famously incoherent on even basic economic policy.”
But what’s more likely is that Kim Jong Un just really thought that Hitler was on to something and aspires to be such a leader. Not that he’s going to institute mass genocide (though we wouldn’t put it past him), but the power, the fear, and the charisma of Hitler are things he admires.
“One source says there have been many overt attempts to imbue Kim Jong Un with an ‘intimidating charisma,’ such as having him shout very forcefully at associates (Kim Jong Il was never seen to do such a thing) and even throwing things at people,” wrote New Focus International. “According to another source, this may explain why the [official state newspaper] Rodong Sinmun has been showing photos of Kim Jong Un looking angry and scary – again, unprecedented in the history of Kim presentation.”
What do you think? Could Mein Kampf turn North Korea into Nazi Germany?