Kim Jong-un was born in either 1982 or 1983. He stands five foot seven and weighs 290 pounds. At about thirty-six years old he is rumored to suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and gout. The supreme leader of North Korea is both a heavy cigarette smoker and a megalomaniacal psychopath. He commands the 4th largest military on the planet.
Kim Jong-un’s extraordinary haircut has a name. They call it “Ambition.”
Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, founded the modern North Korean communist state. Kim Il-sung’s official state biography says his birth was heralded by portents in the heavens. It also claims that he began walking at three weeks of age and started speaking three weeks after that. Wow.
Kim Jong-un’s father Kim Jong-il purportedly authored 1,500 books in three years while simultaneously composing six full operas. Giuseppe Verdi was not nearly so productive. According to his biography, Kim’s operas were the best in the history of music.
Kim Jong-il also supposedly invented the hamburger. He called it the “double bread with meat.” According to official press releases Kim Jong-il did not defecate and could control the weather with his mood.
Kim Jong-un’s dad only played golf once, but state media reported that he had an exceptionally good day on the links. He reportedly shot 38 under par (25 strokes better than the standing world record) and landed a breathtaking eleven holes-in-one in that single game. Had I done that well I suppose I might have quit while I was ahead, too.
Kim Jong-un purportedly began driving at age three and won his first yacht race at nine. He covertly attended a Swiss boarding school under the guise of being a wealthy businessman’s son. He was reportedly shy and quiet but a good friend with little interest in geopolitics. This remarkable prodigy currently commands 4,100 tanks, 500 combat vessels, and 730 tactical aircraft along with an estimated thirty to sixty operational nuclear warheads. His military still employs ZM-87 blinding lasers in contravention of UN protocol.
Someone who clearly believed himself a god sired this odd fat little man. As is so often the case, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Crime and Punishment in the World of Kim Jong-un
Since taking power following the death of his chronically constipated father in 2011 Kim Jong-un has executed around 340 people. The insular nature of his regime makes reliable information difficult to obtain. There was a rumor that he had executed a family member by stripping him naked and feeding him to ravenous dogs. This report has since been discredited. Apparently, he killed this uncle by strapping the poor man to a post and then chewing him to pieces with an antiaircraft gun. Of all the many-splendored ways to off another human being, fast-firing antiaircraft weapons seem undeniably novel.
The list of the condemned is indeed prodigious. Kim’s late uncle Jang Song-thaek was ganked for the catchall “Treachery.” For good measure, Kim Jong-un had his children, grandchildren, and sundry close relatives murdered as well.
O Sang-hon, the North Korean deputy security minister of the Ministry of People’s Security got sideways with Kim by supporting Kim’s uncle Jang Song-thaek. For this bit of poor judgment Kim had the man publically barbecued with a flamethrower.
Eleven members of a North Korean dance troupe were accused of producing a pornographic video. For their sins Kim had them secured downrange from crew-served automatic weapons and publically shot to pieces. The grand finale purportedly involved running over what remained of the eleven corpses with tracked armored vehicles until they literally became one with the earth.
Kim’s older brother Kim Jong-nam was originally the heir-apparent to his freak show of a dad. However, the elder Kim embarrassed his country in 2001 when he tried and failed to smuggle himself into Japan on a false passport to sample Tokyo Disneyland. After 2003 Kim Jong-nam lived in exile, sporadically condemning the government of his rotund sadist baby brother.
In February of 2017 four North Korean assassins convinced Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam that they were part of a TV prank. The hapless women subsequently smeared Kin Jong-nam’s face with VX nerve agent in the Kuala Lumpur airport. The elder Kim died in short order, and the four North Korean killers escaped back to Pyongyang.
Somnolence—The North Korean Unforgiveable Sin
In early April of 2015, Hyon Yong-chol was busy serving as North Korea’s Defense Minister, a position that made him the second most powerful man in the country. Before the month was out he was accused of a crime of lese-majeste. This French term literally translates, “to do wrong to majesty.” The formal infraction was “Failed to Carry Out Kim’s Instructions.”
He actually just fell asleep while Kim was speaking.
Apparently, Hyon’s inattention offended Kim in a serious way. Kim had Hyon taken to a military school outside Pyongyang and tied to a post. He then had the school’s students and staff mustered out on the firing range to spectate. Once the several hundred spectators were arrayed properly Kim gave the order and the fire from multiple antiaircraft weapons turned Hyon’s body into bloody goo.
The consensus was that the tools used in these executions were likely quad-mount ZPU-4 antiaircraft weapons. These systems incorporate four different KPV (Krupnokalibernly Pulemyot Vladimirova) heavy machineguns firing a 14.5x114mm rounds at 600 rpm. To put that in perspective the .50-caliber cartridge fired by John Moses Browning’s M2 Heavy Barrel machinegun is 12.7x99mm. The KPV round carries roughly twice the muzzle energy of that fired by the American M2. The four gun ZPU-4 quad mount puts out an aggregate 2,400 rounds per minute.
Development of the ZPU-4 began in the Soviet Union in 1945. The gun system entered service in 1949. The mount carries 1,200 linked rounds for each gun. The travel weight of the system on its wheeled mount is 3,990 pounds. The gun system is designed for close-in air defense against low-flying aircraft. The KPV has a maximum effective range of 3km horizontally and 2km vertically while remaining lethal out to 8km.
In addition to towed antiaircraft mounts, the Soviets used the KPV on armored vehicles and naval patrol boats. In its vehicular configuration the gun has a shortened receiver, a heavier barrel jacket, and a longer fifty-round belt. The standard belt holds forty rounds. This gun is designated the KPVT or tankoviy (tank) version.
One of the more common applications of the KPV today is in dual mounts in the backs of civilian pickups. These vehicles are universally referred to as technicals. They are relatively inexpensive and highly mobile, making them the preferred weapons of terrorist and unconventional forces in many of your less well-funded war zones. A brace of KPV’s firing from the back of a pickup truck offers the modern sawed-off warlord with a great deal more downrange horsepower than might be afforded by man-portable weapons alone.
It is easy to look down our long Roman noses at Kim given his many manifest psychotic eccentricities and wax judgmental over his choice of tools for executions of state. However, such events were spectator sports around the globe well into the 20th century even in our own refined democratic culture. In 1903 a convicted murderer was hanged on the courthouse square in my placid little Southern town. Back then you could be accused, tried, sentenced, and executed at the county level. Oxford, Mississippi, sported a population of around 800 souls at the time, yet some 8,000 showed up from the surrounding environs to gawk.
Execution at point-blank range by a weapon system firing forty 60-gram high-velocity projectiles per second is likely a pretty placid way to go. I think given the choice I might choose obliteration by ZPU-4 over hanging or electrocution. It shouldn’t hurt long.
North Korea is a monarchy by another name. While the less enlightened members of American society seem yet again to be swooning over the siren’s song of socialism, Kim Jong-un stands as another monotonous example of the inevitable end state of centralized power. Leftists think the reason communism has devolved into butchery every single time it has ever been tried is simply that those who attempted to craft this week’s workers’ utopia just didn’t do it correctly.
A 2007 psychiatric study of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Jong-il found that all three men likely suffered from some toxic combination of the “Big Six” personality disorders. These included sadistic, antisocial, paranoid, narcissistic, schizoid, and schizotypal elements. In Kim Jong-un, we see a self-destructive yet unimposing soul raised by a lunatic and then granted unfettered power. In that context the remarkable creativity he exhibits when neutralizing threats to his sovereignty seems not terribly surprising.
KPV Heavy Machine Gun
|Barrel Length||53 inches|
|Rate of Fire||600 rpm|