24 October 2007

Johnny Hon: tyrant's arse licked for fun and profit

Perusing (for fun) the infamous North Korean news site KCNA, I have stumbled on an intriguing headline:

It is not that I doubt that every mass murderer in history has a shoal of followers, I was just interested in seeing who this specific follower happens to be.
Johnny Hon, chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation who is chairman of the Global Group of Britain, was interviewed by KCNA Thursday after visiting the Kumsusan Memorial Palace here, the supreme temple of Juche.

He said that he read President Kim Il Sung's reminiscences "With the Century" which helped him know better about the noble life of a great leader and a great man, adding that history does not know such outstanding thinker and theoretician and great statesman as Kim Il Sung.
Uhu. So his name is Johnny Hon and he is not only a chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation, but also a chairman of something called Global Group of Britain. He is a British businessman, according to the stub in Wiki. His somewhat checkered life story brought him from a degree in biomedical science via a Ph.D in psychiatry to a meteoric career in various financial enterprises.
The combined turnover of his companies is estimated to be in excess of £1 billion in a financial year.
So where does a respectable businessman like this one get off chairing a travesty like the International Kim Il Sung Foundation? And handing out a smelly reward like the one named International Kim Il Sung Prize?
The "International Kim Il Sung Prize" council on April 1 decided to award "International Kim Il Sung Prize" to Vishwanath, director general of the International Institute of the Juche Idea. He was awarded the prize for having ardently espoused the immortal Juche idea founded by President Kim Il Sung and made distinguished services for accomplishing the glorious cause of global independence and peace.
Of course, only a dolt like me could miss the idea - the "Kim Il Sung Prize" prize is for people who ardently espouse the immortal... sure. But the next award boggled even my feverish brain:
Noting that it was of historic significance that the "International Kim Il Sung Prize" was awarded to Kim Jong Il in recognition of the immortal feats he has performed on behalf of the times and history while successfully carrying forward and developing the idea of the President, he [Johnny Hon] said:
  • No prize in the world is as prestigious as the "International Kim Il Sung Prize."
  • As chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation, I will make every possible effort to carry out the noble cause started by the President, deeply aware of the mission I have assumed before the times and humankind.
Of course, who deserves the "Kim Il Sung" prize more than his most ardent follower, who accidentally happens to be a produce of the chief's loins?

Some people may say that what Mr Hon is doing disgusts them. But then, some people could take a look at the following notice from the Global Group site:
The Global Group, the UK based banking and investment group, is to open a bank in
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 3 June; this will be the first
joint venture bank between a UK company and the DPRK.
And indeed, the bank was opened, with a speech by Mr Hon stating, between other things:
Chairman Hon referred to the establishment of the bank which will contribute to promoting economic cooperation and exchange between the U.K. and the DPRK. The Korean people are making all possible efforts for economic development based on the powerful foundations of the self-supporting national economy laid in the spirit of self-reliance and on advanced sciences and technology, he stressed. He expressed the belief that the credit bank set up by the joint efforts of the two countries would contribute to understanding and development of friendly relations between the two peoples.
Chairman Hon seems to be one heck of a statesman, doesn't he? Understanding and development of friendly relations, indeed...

For my personal understanding: is there some secret recipe for removing that taste from one's tongue? Or Mr Hon is so used to it by now that he enjoys it?