Kim Jon Il died in December of 2011 according to official reports released by the North Korean government. Looking back over the course of his life, the dictator most famous for his reckless disregard for environmental issues and human rights, was extremely vocal about his hate of the West. In an ironic twist of fate, it was his love of luxury items and the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by so many capitalists in America and Europe that finally did him in. Here’s are a few of his favorite things with a wonderful history lesson thrown in for good news measure.
Luxury product sellers in the West must be mourning the death of North Korean dictator turned Hollywood parody icon Kim Jong Il. He was not even 70 years old when his Westernized diet loaded with fat, alcohol, high salt content, and sugar got the best of him. After suffering a stroke in 2008, the eccentric dictator died from complications arising from his combination of diabetes and heart disease. Both illnesses are far less prevalent medical conditions for members of most Asian civilizations.
Taking humanitarian giving to the lowest of the lows, Kim Jong Il, the former dictator of North Korea, is reported to have used a sizable portion of an $80 million humanitarian relief package to finance a Mercedes-Benz collection worth over $20 million. It’s not clear exactly how much the Dear Leader took from the fund to purchase Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, but in a nation as impoverished as the one he lorded over, even a single dollar is too much. But it seems the extravagant Western lifestyle the Dear Leader afforded only for himself is what ultimately put his reign to an end.
His birth supposedly foretold by a bird and signaled by a double rainbow, Kim Jong Il kept North Korea in the dark on a lot of things. His Mercedes-Benz fetish aside, Kim Jong Il had amassed a $4 billion fortune of his own, kept in European accounts. And while he was socking away a personal nest egg, the country was doling out nearly 20 percent of its budget to finance Kim Jong Il’s other fine tastes, including piles of lobster and gallons of cognac. Meanwhile, the nation’s citizens were left with dregs, and they had no cell phone or internet access. Locked into state media, citizens knew little if anything about their Dear Leader’s lavish lifestyle.
Auto News website Jalopnik writes:
During his nearly 18-year reign, Kim’s fondness for Mercedes-Benz cars was reported widely. It’s always been a bit [disconcerting] that he was able to flaunt the country’s treasure in such a fashion, considering UN sanctions have long banned the sale of luxury goods to the country. Of course, with North Korean citizens banned from using cellphones and the internet (as well as accessing non-state information of any kind) hardly anyone in his country would know it, even if the secret was out in the West.
They went on to imply that luxury product sellers like the car company Mercedes-Benz would miss taking advantage of his obsession with owning the world’s finest luxury products that were made or freely traded between rich people who live in the West. Regarding import export markets and the availability of black market products, they say:
Of course, sanctions never stopped the DL from glugging down a half-million bucks in cognac a year, along with truckloads of lobster and beluga caviar. Naturally, Kim had plenty of cash to spend on those and other goodies. According to reports, he’s socked away upward of $4 billion in European Banks. One defector said Kim’s personal expenses added up to 20% of the nation’s budget — a nation with a per-capita GDP of just $1,900. That left him with plenty of resources to feed his Mercedes-Benz fetish.
Easily one of the least humanitarian celebrity leaders in history, Kim Jong Il suffered an overdose of the Western lifestyle he loved so much. He had diabetes and heart disease, ultimately succumbing to a heart attack. One lesson he failed to learn was one of moderation. It was his excessive policies and excessive control that ruined North Korea. It was his excessive and hypocritical personal taste that ruined him. One wonders if his son, Kim Jong Un, the new leader of North Korea, will take note of that lesson.
Western lifestyle oglers who follow luxury lifestyle reports from Hollywood should take note also. Capitalism has its place, but we all benefit from an eco-friendly approach to the world. Not only was Kim Jong Il’s selfishness harmful to the nation he purported to lead, but it lead to his own demise. Sustainability is key, and Kim Jong Il is just proof of that. His reign was unsustainable, much like his taste for rich foods and alcohol, even as he amassed a personal fortune. Like an addict, he hoarded, gorged, and in a move that probably caused most of his health problems — drank — ultimately to death.
So, while luxury product vendors who work for companies like Mercedes-Benz will most likely miss the strange little gent, we won’t. Why? Because had he been a good person who used his power to help (rather than hinder and torture) his people, we would have loved his eccentric nature and penchant for inadvertently making us laugh at his wackiest actions. We’ll miss seeing him parodied in movies like Team America and on funny television shows like the old Mad TV and new Saturday Night Live episodes, but without him alive the rest of the world feels like a safer place — even if black market luxury product sales decline because if it.
Go Team America!
North Korea, Hollywood feels deeply sorry for your woes.