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Remembering Kim Jong Il ... And His Parka

For three generations now, the dynastic Kims who have ruled North Korea for more than six decades have been a rich source for parodies.

Before Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, his trademark pompadour hairdo attracted its share of attention.

And just recently, The Onion not only named his son Kim Jong Un the " sexiest man alive" but did so with such conviction that China's People's Daily Online picked up the story and added its own tribute, a comprehensive photo gallery.

So we approached this latest story with some caution.

To mark the first anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death, the official Korean Central News Agency produced this three-minute paean to Kim's favorite parka, a puffy, off-white number that he wore when making field inspections of troops and factories and farms.

"The Korean people warmly look back again upon his noble life. They are reminded of the parka worn by him until the last period of his life," the narrator intones.

Kim started wearing it after his father, dictator Kim Il Sung, died in 1994, and it apparently never went out of style, even though it became "threadbare and discolored," we are told.

There's not a whole lot more we can say. Just listen.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on the intelligence community, a position that follows his many years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the globe.
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