I was relaxing at my home in Great Falls, Virginia this morning, reading Kierkegaard around three in the afternoon when my land line rang, and Caller ID revealed it was a satellite phone call from none other than Kim Jong-un, Glorious and Infallible Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. As faithful readers of this Web log know, I have not heard from him in quite a while – not since October, 2014 as a matter of fact. Such readers are also aware that Kim Jong-un – the real one, that is – has been locked up at a secret location for the last five years courtesy of Korean Peoples Army Marshal Kim Yong-chun, Vice Marshals Ri Yong-mu and Hwang Pyong-so, Vice Chairman O Kuk-ryol, Generals Pak To-chun, Kim Won-hong, and Kim Jong-gak, the late Jang Sung-thaek, and Kim Jong-un’s own sister, Kim Yo-jong, while a cadre of body doubles who, with exquisite irony, he himself personally selected before being secretly deposed, have replaced him. Since then, of course, that bunch of commie fanatics and demented sociopaths behind the palace coup and subsequent ruse has engaged in extensive infighting and back-stabbing among themselves, mostly centered around who will wield the actual power in North Korea and / or command that cadre of body doubles, resulting, among other fallout, in Jang Sung-thaek becoming the late Jang Sung-thaek, as well as several other less fortunate members of the pack losing their exalted positions within the North Korean military and government. Naturally, I was curious as to what the genuine Kim Jong-un had to say for himself, so I answered.
Kim: Hello? Hello?
Tom: Yo, Kimster! Whattup?
Kim: Oh [expletive] yeah! Tom! Oh, [expletive]! Tom, I’m, like, totally [expletive] bull-[expletive]! I finally fixed this [expletive] satellite phone! I can’t [expletive] believe this [expletive] thing actually [expletive] works!
Tom: Bad grounding connection, like I said?
Kim: [Expletive], man I donno – I told you a thousand [expletive] times, I’m no [expletive] good at [expletive] electronics and [expletive]! I’ve just been [expletive] around with this piece of [expletive] every chance I could get for, like, [expletive] years, man!
Tom: Well, hell, good job dude! Congratulations! What time is it there – must be around four in the morning, right?
Kim: Yeah, and my “valet” got totally [expletive]-faced and passed out about an hour ago, so I figured, what the [expletive], let’s take out the satellite phone and dick around with it and see if I can get it to [expletive] work, and what the [expletive]! It did! Who won the NBA championship this year?
Tom: The Golden State Warriors. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers four games to one.
Kim: And last year, in 2015?
Tom: Um… this year is 2017, dude.
Kim: It is?
Tom: Uh-huh. Last year was 2016, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors.
Kim: They did?
Tom: Yeah, and in 2015, it was the other way around again.
Kim: Oh, [expletive]! I’ve completely lost track of time in this [expletive] place!
Tom: They still have you locked up at that “clinic,” then?
Tom: You have any idea where it is by now?
Kim: Not really – the whole place is surrounded by this huge wall. It must be somewhere in the mountains, anyhow, because I can see peaks beyond what looks like the north and east walls. I mean, I think they’re the north and east walls, because the sun comes up over the one I think is in the east, you know? Not right over it, but pretty close.
Tom: So you can see mountains, huh? Do they have trees on them? Snow? Or are they bare rocks?
Kim: There’s snow on them sometimes. In the winter, I guess. Bare rocks when it’s hot, which must be in the summer.
Tom: Ever see any aircraft or anything else in the sky?
Kim: No, never.
Tom: Jesus, what have you been doing with your time?
Kim: There’s a library. Lots of books. Mostly in Korean, but there are others in English and French. Problem is, nothing in that [expletive] library was published after 1950. I think my grandfather must have stolen them from foreign missionaries or something. God damn it! What I’d give to watch a [expletive] basketball game!
Tom: Speaking of basketball, Dennis Rodman came to visit… um… “you” a couple of months ago, in June.
Kim: Did he say anything – you know, about stuff being… weird… or strange?
Tom: No, he didn’t.
Kim: [Expletive]! Those [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] and that [expletive] herd of body doubles they talked me into getting! They even fooled Dennis Rodman?
Tom: Certainly looks like it.
Kim: Damn it all, Dennis Rodman has actually met me – the real me! How could a fake Kim Jong-un fool him, right up close like that?
Tom: Well, I know you’re fond of Dennis Rodman but let’s face it – he isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, now is he? Plus, you must remember, your captors have had quite a while to perfect the act by now. It shouldn’t be too surprising that they’ve succeeded.
Kim: In that case, what the [expletive] are they bothering to keep me alive for?
Tom: Well, I hope you won’t think the less of me for being so cynical, but I’d say they’re probably keeping you alive for your DNA.
Kim: My DNA? What do they need my [expletive] DNA for?
Tom: Because the CIA and MI6 both have samples of your DNA and when it comes time for Glorious Leader to have a tragic accident, the junta in Pyongyang is going to need to produce a nice, fresh corpse with an exact match. It’s essential for proper completion of the scam, you see.
Kim: All right Tom, too much [expletive] information – you’re [expletive] bumming me out.
Tom: Sorry, dude. No offense.
Kim: None taken. I really appreciate you taking me seriously, Tom.
Tom: Thanks, and yeah, and speaking of that, I have been meaning to ask you – have you ever used that satellite phone to call anybody else and let them know what’s going on?
Kim: Sure I have! I’ve called the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Times of London, the Guardian, Le Monde, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, CBC, CNN, Reuters, Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, hell, I even called National Geographic!
Tom: And let me guess – they all thought you were some kind of nut case, right?
Kim: [Expletive]-A! Damn straight they did! And here I am, locked up in this… this… this place they call a “clinic” that might as well be a [expletive] lunatic asylum – what could I possibly say to convince them otherwise?
Tom: Ever try the American Embassy in Seoul? Or maybe Ten Downing Street or the White House? Something like that?
Kim: Oh yeah, sure those places and plenty more like them. It’s the same story everywhere – “Thank you so much for calling, Mr. Kim, we’ll pass this valuable information of yours right up to the highest level. Have a nice day.” And after that – well, you tell me! Have you seen anybody, anywhere announcing they’ve heard from me and that I told them I’ve been kidnapped and locked up by my own [expletive] government and replaced by a bunch of [expletive] impersonators because I wanted to drag North Korea into the twenty-first century?
Tom: Well, no, actually. My condolences, I know that must be terribly frustrating.
Kim: Yeah, it sure the [expletive] is, and let me tell you, getting fresh batteries for this [expletive] satellite phone is no [expletive] picnic! But you and me, we go all the way back to when I was in Switzerland, and I knew you’d believe me when I called, no matter how insane everything sounded.
Tom: Yeah, well, after working in Washington DC for over fifteen years, I’ve developed sort of a sixth sense that allows me to distinguish absurd stories that are true from absurd stories that aren’t. So I never doubted you for a moment – from your very first call, I was positive it was you and what you were telling me was real.
Kim: That’s great, Tom, I really appreciate that. So – have you ever told anybody about my telephone calls?
Tom: I tried telling a few people I thought I could trust.
Kim: What happened?
Tom: Every time, they said something like, “Very funny, Tom. You always did have an offbeat sense of humor,” and then they would give me this look like, “God, I certainly hope you’re joking, because if you’re serious, I’m going to be really worried about you.” So, I hope you can understand that it’s totally useless, trying to convince anyone that your situation isn’t some sort of preposterous fiction. Actually, I think maybe your captors anticipated that – they’re a pretty clever and diabolical lot, as I’m sure you know.
Kim: Oh, [expletive], don’t remind me.
Tom: I do write about our conversations in my Web log, though. So there are plenty of folks all over the world who at least have had the opportunity to consider the proposition that if your current predicament were in fact true, it would explain a lot things that have transpired in North Korea, not to mention the rest of the world, since your dad passed away and you stepped up to take over for him.
Kim: Okay, now that you’ve mentioned it – what the [expletive] has been going on out there in the real world, lately anyhow?
Tom: Well, I guess the news item that would be of most interest to you at the moment would be the ongoing confrontation between North Korea and the United States that threatens to touch off a nuclear war.
Kim: Nuclear war? What the [expletive]?
Tom: Afraid so, dude. North Korea has been conducting a shipload of medium and long-range missile tests lately, threatening Japan, Guam and even the US mainland. And President Trump’s reaction to all that has…
Kim: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! President who?
Tom: Oh, that’s right, you wouldn’t have heard about that, would you?
Kim: I guess [expletive] not, dude! I haven’t heard about [expletive] Jack [expletive] since the last time I talked to you!
Tom: Right – of course you haven’t. Sorry. Okay, well, last fall, Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States.
Kim: Donald Trump? The guy who wrote The Art of the Deal and had that TV show where he yelled at idiots and then fired them and called it entertainment?
Tom: Yep, that guy.
Kim: Oh, come on, you’re [expletive] me, right?
Kim: Donald Trump got elected president of the United States? How the [expletive] did that [expletive] happen?
Tom: Funny you should ask – people are still trying to figure that out. It’s such a mystery that books have been written about it.
Kim: Who the [expletive] did he run against?
Tom: Hillary Clinton.
Kim: You mean, Bill Clinton’s wife?
Tom: Uh-huh. She wrote a book about it, too, called What Happened.
Kim: So – what did?
Tom: She lost the Electoral College because she took the voters of three crucial states for granted and did incredibly stupid stuff like tell coal miners she was going to put them out of work and call people who didn’t support her ignorant and deplorable. Not that she admits any of those things in her book, of course.
Kim: How the [expletive] did she get nominated to run in the first place? What did she ever do besides pop out Bill Clinton’s ugly girl, whatshername?
Tom: Chelsea. Hillary Clinton was a US senator from New York.
Kim: She was? I guess I never noticed.
Tom: Well, it’s not like she ever did much besides yammer about glass ceilings, identity politics, getting government benefits for illegal aliens, gay marriage and such, so that’s understandable. But you do remember that Obama made her Secretary of State, don’t you?
Kim: Of course – and I remember she totally ate [expletive] trying to do it, too! How could I [expletive] forget? [Expletive]! How could anybody forget what a [expletive] fool she made of herself? Holy [expletive] Jesus Christ on a [expletive] crutch, dude, everybody knows that Hillary Clinton was like, the worst [expletive] Secretary of State the US ever [expletive] had! And you’re telling me, after that international Tijuana donkey show she put on, she ran for president of the United States against Donald Trump?
Tom: Affirmative. She was the Democratic candidate. Trump was the Republican.
Kim: The Democrats nominated her to run for president? How the [expletive] could the [expletive] Democrats be so [expletive] stupid?
Tom: Good question. Actually, a lot of people have observed that Hillary Clinton was probably the only major Democrat that Donald Trump could possibly defeat. I think the explanation for the Democrats giving her the nomination is that she’s always been totally unscrupulous and merciless about getting what she wants, and all the other plausible Democratic contenders knew that.
Kim: And so?
Tom: And so, consequently, they were all afraid of her and scared of what might happen to them if they opposed her for the nomination.
Kim: In other words, they have no [expletive] [expletive] between their legs, and Hillary Clinton is a total [expletive].
Tom: You got it – they’re a bunch of spineless, craven, sniveling cowards and she’s an absolute, total, and complete vindictive, lying, conniving, untrustworthy and dishonest [expletive].
Kim: Just like my [expletive] sister.
Tom: Right – and in the assessment of all the other potential Democratic candidates, going up against her was simply too risky. Except for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Kim: Not that I have ever heard of him, but what made that guy different?
Tom: Technically, he wasn’t really a Democrat. He’s a Socialist.
Kim: They allow Socialists in America?
Tom: Yeah, sure.
Kim: I thought they shot them on sight.
Tom: Only in Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. He challenged Hillary for the Democratic nomination, and quite a few political insiders opined that he would have beaten Trump handily, since a lot of voters who went for Trump also favored Sanders’ views on economic issues. But Hillary’s machine politics made sure he never had a chance. So Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee, and then the Russians got involved.
Kim: The Russians? I gotta tell you, dude, this whole thing is getting harder and harder to believe.
Tom: I know. But consider this – it’s damn hard for me to believe you’re cooped up somewhere in the North Korean mountains while a bunch of traitors run your country with a cast of clowns who look like you, but I manage to do it, don’t I? So buck up and listen, dude, because what I’m telling you – no matter how ridiculous and improbable it sounds – is the real, actual and bonafide truth, okay?
Kim: All right. I still say this is beginning to sound like a bad Hollywood movie, though.
Tom: You’ll get no argument from me there, good buddy. Are you sitting down?
Kim: Sitting down? [Expletive], man, I’m hiding curled up in a closet with my back to the wall!
Tom: Just checking, because now it gets really bizarre, really fast. As it happens, Vladimir Putin has the Russian banks in his back pocket and the Russian banks have Donald Trump in theirs, because when the US economy collapsed in 2007 due to the crisis that resulted from unregulated Wall Street speculation in bogus derivatives and subprime mortgages, US banks wouldn’t loan Trump the money to keep his empire going, so he had to borrow from Russian banks instead. Turns out Trump’s business model was just a frog’s hair short of a Ponzi scheme and required constant infusions of cash to keep it from deflating quicker than a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon with a three foot hole in it. So, as it happens, Putin hates Hillary Clinton even more than the average independent voter, so he orders the GRU to hack into the Democratic National Committee servers and turn over everything they find to the FSB, who turn most it over to Wikileaks, who promptly posted it on the Internet for everyone in the world to read. Everyone in the world, that is, except US citizens with security clearances, of course.
Kim: Why’s that?
Tom: They’re forbidden to visit the Wikileaks Web site because it contains classified US secrets they aren’t authorized to see.
Kim: Okay, so what you really mean is, everyone in the world except them and me, goddamnit!
Tom: Oh, right, sure – or anyone else in North Korea who doesn’t have permission from the junta.
Kim: [Expletive] those bastards in Pyongyang! I wanted everybody in North Korea to have broadband cell service!
Tom: One of many reasons you ended up crouching on the floor of a closet talking to me on a rickety stolen Japanese satellite phone, no doubt.
Kim: Don’t [expletive] remind me! Okay, then what?
Tom: Then Putin had his cyberwarriors cook up huge amounts of fake news that made Hillary look even worse than the totally lame, nattering, incompetent, lying, elitist feminazi harpy whore she already is, which couldn’t have been easy, and troll it around chat rooms, Web site comment threads and social media. And while that was going on, Putin had the FSB and the GRU activate some plausible cut-outs to contact the Trump campaign and tout stolen DNC secrets to them.
Kim: And now you’re going to tell me that Trump’s crew was actually dumb enough to arrange a meeting with them?
Tom: As Ripley said, believe it or not. Yes, in fact, Trump’s son, Don Junior, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, all showed up for a meeting with the Russian FSB and GRU cut-outs, eagerly expecting to get their grubby hands on illegally obtained information about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats which they could use to win the election.
Kim: [Expletive], you can’t make this stuff up!
Tom: Quite a few folks have said the very same thing lately, I can assure you, good buddy, and not only about the Trump Russian affair, either. Ever since he started running for president, the word “unprecedented” has been given its biggest workout in the history of American journalism. And you know Twitter, right?
Kim: [Expletive] yeah, I know Twitter! What about it?
Tom: Trump gets up in the middle of the night and tweets his fat [expletive] off, that’s what, and he keeps it up all day until he dozes off with his thumbs still on his smart phone. He’s tweeted over thirty thousand times since he declared his candidacy for president, and lemme tell ya, dude, a lot of it is pretty [expletive] crazy, there’s just no other word to describe it – conspiracy theories, incoherent rants, insulting and slanderous personal attacks, childish schoolyard taunts, wish-fulfillment fantasies stated as facts, incomprehensible remarks devoid of any discernible context – that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and now that he’s president of the United States, anything he tweets is automatically official government policy.
Kim: Holy [expletive]! Is he a [expletive] psycho or something?
Tom: Good question. There’s been quite a bit of discussion about what the hell is wrong with him, that’s for sure. You certainly don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to realize that Trump is a malignant narcissist and a pathological liar. Last week, the American Psychoanalytic Association announced that it’s okay for their members to publicly diagnose him, and in addition to those two obvious problems, they’ve said he’s also paranoid, a sadist and suffers from antisocial personality disorder.
Kim: [Expletive], you know what? That sounds just like my dad.
Tom: I was thinking of Mussolini myself. A lot of people have compared Trump to Mussolini, actually.
Kim: Hmm… yeah, I can see that. Okay, so what happened after Trump’s relatives and campaign manager met with those Russians?
Tom: That’s yet another good question, and at the moment, nobody’s really sure. About the only things I can say for certain are that: Number One, word got out the meeting happened; Number Two, Trump fired the director of the FBI; Number Three, Trump used twitter to denounce his own intelligence community – all seventeen agencies – for saying they had proof the Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election; and, Number Four, there are three separate investigations going on under the auspices of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Justice Department.
Kim: What’s Trump think of that [expletive]?
Tom: His tweets call all of the investigations “witch hunts” and anything they discover “fake news.”
Kim: Huh! So what does Trump do all day besides tweet?
Tom: According to credible accounts, he spends most of his time watching television – mostly Fox News.
Kim: And what’s this nuclear war [expletive] all about, then?
Tom: Basically, North Korea keeps bragging about its nuclear capability and launching missile tests. There have been about fifteen of them since Trump was inaugurated in January, including the most recent test, which included three launches in one day.
Kim: Three in one [expletive] day?
Kim: [Expletive]! What kind of missiles?
Tom: Pukguksong-2’s, Hwasong-7’s, KN-14’s and KN-17’s, mostly. Four cruise missiles, an ER scud or two and maybe some Hwasong-12’s and 14’s.
Kim: [Expletive], man, that’s some serious [expletive], especially those [expletive] 12’s and 14’s – they’re liquid fuel intercontinental [expletive]. What the [expletive] are those [expletive]-heads trying to [expletive] do for [expletive] sake?
Tom: The official line is that the missile tests are being conducted in reaction to the US installing Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile missiles in South Korea and the US conducting joint military exercises with the South.
Kim: Okay, the joint military exercises, I can see that. But what’s this anti-missile missile [expletive] about? Did the US have to go and jerk North Korea’s chain like that?
Tom: Unfortunately, from what I’ve heard, there’s been more than enough chain jerking on both sides lately. I think that, initially, anyway, it was your captors in Pyongyang who started kicking sand, just to see what the new American president was made of. Trouble is, the new American president turned out to be made of horse hockey, hot air and rabid dog spit, and his reaction to their reaction was to threaten to burn North Korea into a pile of cinders. And when it came out last week that Pyongyang had developed nuclear devices small enough to be used as missile warheads, the new American president went ballistic, so to speak.
Kim: And now North Korea and the United States are in a nuclear [expletive] contest?
Tom: Pretty much.
Kim: What about the Chinese?
Tom: They have made it known that if the US or anybody else attacks North Korea, they will intervene, but if Pyongyang starts anything with the US or South Korea, then North Korea gets to fight World War III on its own.
Kim: What the [expletive]? Are you saying that Chinese intervention policy depends on which side initiates hostilities?
Tom: Well, that’s what the Chinese said a few days ago. Who knows what they’ll say tomorrow?
Kim: [Expletive]! If that’s their [expletive] policy, there might not be a [expletive] tomorrow! Can’t they see that?
Tom: Actually, I think they probably do.
Kim: Oh, [expletive]! This is some really [expletive]-up [expletive]! Now I understand why you asked me if I was sitting down! [Expletive], man, I’m [expletive] hyperventilating!
Tom: Well, while you’re doing that, about fifty million South Koreans are wetting their pants in fear, totally terrified that an out-of-control psychopath might make a preemptive strike that results in their immediate annihilation.
Kim: Look, Tom, I know those [expletive] in Pyongyang are [expletive] up, but they’re not [expletive] morons! No matter how much imbecilic propaganda they order their newspapers and broadcasters to spew, there’s just no [expletive] way they’re going to start a shooting war – especially without the Chinese to back them up!
Tom: I’m not talking about the psychopaths in Pyongyang.
Kim: Oh, [expletive]! [Expletive] [expletive] [expletive]! No! North Korea’s entire foreign policy is entirely based on the assumption that America’s leadership is rational! We’re the ones who are supposed to play nutcase, not you guys!
Tom: You know that. I know that. The South Koreans know that. Every diplomat who has his or her head screwed on straight, from every country on the planet that’s worth two hoots in Hell knows that. Every international expert in every think tank in every major world capital knows that. Every intelligence analyst in every significant intelligence service anywhere knows that. The question is, does President Donald J. Trump know that?
Kim: If he doesn’t… oh, [expletive], Tom, I’m so glad I talked to you!
Tom: Gee, thanks. Mind if I ask why?
Kim: Because, I just realized something – under the circumstances, I’m probably safer here than I would be anywhere else.
Tom: You might very well be right about that, good buddy.
Kim: Oh, [expletive] it! My “valet” has started mumbling [expletive] about some major in the Ministry of State Security with big knockers he has the hots for. He’s probably going to come in his pants and wake up right afterward, like he always does. I gotta go!
Tom: Understood. No problem. Call back anytime you can.
Kim: Right! Vaya con Dios, dude!
Tom: Adios, amigo!