October 01, 2010 11:23
North Korean reporters dutifully hailed and praised leader Kim Jong-il's 20-something son and heir Jong-un, who was abruptly promoted to a four-star general, as a "leader well-versed in all fields." They made the remarks at the truce village of Panmunjom, where they covered inter-Korean military talks on Thursday.
When a South Korean journalist asked if Kim junior really became a "four-star" general, a North Korean reporter baffled his interlocutor by saying, "One big star." In the North, "one big star" suggests the rank of vice marshal, a notch higher than a four-star general.
The conversation happened when eight South Korean reporters joined 10 North Koreans in the first-floor lobby of Peace House at Panmunjom.
When a South Korean reporter asked if Kim junior is familiar with computer technology, which is how propaganda portrays him, a North Korean reporter said, "He's well-versed in all things, such as politics, economy, society and culture, in addition to computers."
Another North Korean reporter said the extraordinary Workers Party congress that saw Kim junior elevated to top party posts means, "We're having a happy occasion. We're in a festive mood." The rest of other North Korean reporters also said Jong-un "is equipped with everything required of a leader."
In turn, the North Koreans wanted to know if President Lee Myung-bak will turn conciliatory toward the North, and raised a barrage of questions like who will be the next foreign minister, and whether Lee's archrival, the traditional conservative Park Geun-hye, will become the next president.
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