I saw North Koreans fainting over the news of death of Kim Jong il. Then there were army generals and military officials looking shattered and broken and sobbing. Was the army really expressing sorrow? Have the people known any better or worse than these 'despicable dear leaders'? North Korea is a country where besides a thin sliver of elite, the rest of the population is in a constant state of starvation and death. But what do the dear leaders care? They must fire missiles at something; they must have the marches and drills; they must have every nook and corner of the country plastered with all dead and alive dear leaders' unsmiling faces.
This is a country where the military presence is seen everywhere and where the unseen secret service and government spies can be felt everywhere. This is a country where if a tear failed to fall in an expression of sorrow over the dear leader, it could easily be 20 years of hard labor; where a nervous smile could fetch another 10 years; where if the dramatics of despondency did not rise to the expected levels, entire families and generations could be shot dead - if they were lucky. This is a country where thousands just fall down and die each day; where for the rare visitor, villages are moved en masse to avoid giving the wrong impression, where stores are routinely stocked with artificial food, where terror reigns supreme and people are just shells of their selves.
Maybe those army generals were really shedding tears of joy at the opportunity for a coup. Just maybe those wretched people were really fainting from hunger and starvation and did not even have an inkling of the death of a despot. Those dear departed leaders were not supposed to die. They were mythical entities, good enough to be worshipped. Perhaps a sincere prayer could have gotten them a few grains of rice. China will be worried it will have starving masses cross into their land; South Koreans will not want to recognize their brothers in such dire conditions; the world will worry about a power vacuum in the Kim Land and those starving North Koreans - well that tragedy will just go on.