Monday, August 27, 2012


DESPITE NATIONWIDE FOOD SHORTAGES - The South Korean news media, which scrutinizes every photo of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, zeroed weeks ago on one particular photo released by the North’s state-run news agency. It shows Mr. Kim watching an art performance by soldiers during a military visit, the first reported in the North Korean media since he fired the top army leader, Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho, on July 15. But the photo also showed his wife, Ri Sol-ju, with something most North Korean women have never heard of, much less owned: a Christian Dior handbag. South Korean journalists did not take long to identify Ms. Ri’s handbag and, assuming it is genuine, its going price in Seoul: 1.8 million won, or $1,600. That is about 16 times the average monthly wage of a North Korean worker in the Gaeseong industrial park, a joint venture between North and South Korea that provides some of the best-paying jobs in the impoverished North. Ms. Ri has drawn international attention since she began accompanying her husband in public early last month. Her expensive-looking designer suits stand out among the North Korean elites, who typically wear olive-colored military uniforms and drab Mao suits.

Some outside analysts even consider her appearance as a sign of potential change in leadership and even lifestyle that Mr. Kim could bring about as a youthful leader who studied in Europe as a teenager. (Recent visitors to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, reported seeing miniskirts, high heels, Nike hats and Hello Kitty cellphone accessories.) But Ms. Ri’s fashionable style magnifies how disconnected the ruling Kim family remains from the public. A famine in the 1990s killed numerous North Koreans and drove many others to flee to China and South Korea. The regime still cannot feed its own people and needs outside aid. But the Kim family has lived in style. The United Nations reported in June that two-thirds of North Koreans still faced grave food shortages. Last week, it began supplying urgent humanitarian aid after the North reported that nearly 200 people were killed and vast tracts of farmland damaged by flooding. During his latest visit to a military unit, Mr. Kim was quoted as saying, “It is good to regularly provide every soldier with at least 200 grams of beans every day,” according to the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Ri Sol-ju, wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was spotted sporting a luxury Christian Dior purse weeks ago. The bag, identified as a Lady Dior Clutch, retails for about $1,600 in South Korea, which is roughly the equivalent of an average North Korean worker’s annual salary. The extravagances of Kim and his recently unveiled wife have come under intense scrutiny as North Korea continues to suffer from chronic food shortages. In June, the U.N. warned that two-thirds of North Korea’s population would face critical challenges in staving off starvation. The impoverished country continues to be one of the most closed and tightly controlled in the world. Though it seems it makes exceptions for Christian Dior imports.

In the Vedas there are definite instructions defining how a king, commander-in-chief, soldier and citizen should behave. Unfortunately there are many so-called philosophers in the present age who give instruction without citing authority, and many leaders follow their unauthorized instruction. Consequently people are not happy. The modern theory of dialectical communism, set forth by Karl Marx and followed by communist governments, is not perfect. According to Vedic communism, no one in the state should ever starve. Presently there are many bogus institutions which are collecting funds from the public for the purpose of giving food to starving people, but these funds are invariably misused. According to the Vedic instructions, the government should arrange things in such a way that there will be no question of starvation. ... The Supreme Lord supplies the necessities of life to everyone, and there is no question of starvation. If anyone starves, it is due to the mismanagement of the so-called ruler, governor or president.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) SB 4.22.45
Canto 4: "The Creation of the Fourth Order"
Chapter 22: Pṛthu Mahārāja’s Meeting with the Four Kumāras
Text 45 -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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