Weeping for Kim

There isn’t really any informed comment I can make after viewing this video from North Korea, showing the reaction of people to the death of Kim Jong Il, but it’s incredible, and a bit scary. The video comes from the Korean Central News Agency which has plenty more videos of weeping people here.

NPR’s Daily Picture Show blog has images from recent visits inside North Korea, most of which point out the obvious:


There is an eerie similarity to many of the images photojournalists bring back from this enigmatic nation. There seems to be a surreal order and a visual symmetry to daily life, which appears highly orchestrated. Bursts of color appear in an otherwise monochromatic landscape. The images can be mesmerizing — and seem to prompt more questions than answers.

update 3:09 p.m. On All Things Considered just now, NPR’s Louisa Lim in Seoul said that when Kim’s father died, officials considered public displays of grief to be a “loyalty test.” Those who remain dry-eyed lost their jobs.