Michael Malice, author of Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong-il, warns political observers to remain cognizant of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s murderous history, amid all the hype surrounding Kim’s denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. and South Korea.
Malice described Kim as an “explicit murderer” who had “killed members of his own family,” during a Thursday interview on Breitbart News Tonight with SiriusXM hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Malice said Kim’s murderous history is not apparent by his mere appearance. “There’s this cognitive dissonance,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of people listening have seen the footage of him waddling across the DMZ just now, back and forth, looking kind of like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, like this sweet kid, and keep in mind, while this is happening there are people in concentration camps not that far away from the DMZ. So it’s hard to keep that image in your head when you’re looking at him because he doesn’t look like a demon; but there is, of course, a great deal of blood on his hands.”
Malice spoke of momentary family reunions for divided families between North and South Korea, describing North Korean subjects as captives. “These people are all the prisoners for only one reason, and that’s Kim Jong-un,” he said.
Malice added, “These are real human beings who are suffering, so it’s very important to keep that in mind when you’re looking at this footage, because behind this fat clown, there are a lot of corpses in his wake.”
Mansour questioned the sincerity of Kim’s suggested openness to denuclearization. She said, “My concern is that what’s really happening here is … the Chinese handlers of North Korea are basically telling Kim Jong-un, ‘Hey, dial back the crazy, stop talking about nuking Los Angeles, put on a happy face and say the right things, and the United States and all the Western leaders will give you everything you want and you can continue to be a dictator to your own people. You can continue to be a human rights monster. They won’t care, but they’ll open up your own market and they’ll give you everything you want,’ because this is what we’ve done with the Chinese. We’ve allowed them to still abuse their own people and we’ve let them grow into a superpower that is essentially overtaking us.”
Malice agreed with the comparison of China and North Korea, noting that China’s new “social credit” system is inspired by a North Korean project.
“I’ll give you a specific example where the tail is wagging the dog,” he said. “Now, North Korea is wonderfully Orwellian. … In the 1950s — and there were several iterations of this — they had something that they called the Understanding People Project, which sounds nice. … But what did this mean? They interviewed every single person in the country and basically gave them a score based on family background. Were you a capitalist, a priest, born in the South? That’s a bad score. Were you loyal to the great leader Kim Il-sung? Did you fight with him in the revolutionary army? That’s a high score. This determines everything about your life in North Korea, including where you can live. So people with the low scores got sent to the Northeast because they weren’t allowed near the coasts or the capital city of Pyongyang; and in the 1990s, when the famine hit, they were the last ones to get food. So this was an intentional genocide, much like Stalin, of one to two million people, and it was based on loyalty to the regime.”
“Now China has announced they’re doing the same thing,” Malice continued. “Maybe not to that degree, but they now have a social credit score, using that term, and that will determine if you can leave the country and all sorts of other things. China does have influence on North Korea, but this is a very sinister example of North Korea taking the lead and leading China.”
Pollak asked Malice about North Korea’s incentives to denuclearize.
“Why would North Korea ever denuclearize?” Pollak asked. “Because if you look at every other regime in the last 30 years that has gotten rid of their nuclear weapons or ended their nuclear weapons program, every single one of those regimes has failed or been destroyed after they did so. I’ll give you the paradigmatic example. The one government that still exists in some form that got rid of their nuclear weapons was the Apartheid South African government, but they don’t exist anymore. They lost power, and they should have lost power, they were illegitimate, but the point is they gave up these weapons; they’re not around. Muammar Gaddafi gives up his weapons of mass destruction programs after we invade Iraq; he’s gone.”
Pollak added, “This is what I can’t understand. What’s in it for Kim Jong-un? How do we ever get him to yes?”
Malice cautioned against taking Kim’s word on denuclearization in light of his proven capacity for mendacity.
“[Kim] hasn’t taken apart a single nuke yet,” Malice said. “If someone has no problem killing children and family members for political purposes, why the heck would he have a problem lying to the President of the United States, which is his mortal enemy? … There has to be an enormous amount of skepticism.”
Malice added, “Remember last summer, long ago … he was going to nuke Guam. So now all of a sudden he’s going to be best friends with Trump and everything’s fine?”
He said one possible advantage in the pursuit of denuclearization of North Korea is that Kim Jong-un may be different from his father and grandfather. Malice previously described Kim as more “worldly,” “cosmopolitan,” and “enamored with the outside world” than his paternal antecedents.
“[North Koreans] don’t trust us,” Malice said. “They shouldn’t trust us. We’re not their friend. We do think they’re evil. They are objectively evil. They’re the worst government on Earth. Reagan even had that expression when he was dealing with Gorbachev … ‘Trust, but verify.’ For him to trust the United States, the Korean war was devastating to the Korean Peninsula, because they were in the middle between the Russians and the Chinese and us and the U.N. For him to just hand over all this weaponry … the average American doesn’t want to hand over all their weaponry and trust the U.S. government. Why would they?”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.