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[Opinion] Going to Disney Land

Posted December. 16, 2002 22:20,   


Did he really want that much to play with Mickey Mouse? Kim Jong-nam, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, recently denied French visa he was planning to use to visit Disney Land in Paris. The latest incident was his second attempt to visit the amusement park. Earlier, he was caught using a counterfeit passport in Japan in May last year as he headed for Disney Land there. He is over 30 year old and is a big-framed man. He resembles his father a lot and doesn`t look like a man who is into children`s play. Furthermore, his country, confronting with the Bush administration over its nuclear program, is employing brinkmanship facing increasing pressure. Then why the prince of the world`s most reclusive country is so eager to go to Disney Land, the very symbol of American dominance in global pop culture and entertainment.

▷American pop icon Michael Jackson lives in Never Land, that`s what they call his mansion. Having been singing since he was very young, he couldn`t spend ordinary childhood. Now being a father of three children, Jackson is still living as a Peter Pan surrounded by toys and animals. Kim Jong-nam seems to have something common. Mothered by Kim Jong-il`s mistress Sung Hye-rim, he was mostly raised by his grandmother when he was young. Although it is said Kim Jong-il cared for him so much, he must have missed motherly love. Experts point to that people who spend unhappy infanthood later grow psychologically premature and self-centered. For Kim Jong-nam who is psychologically still in his early years, an broadcasting agency in the country even extended running of animation program `Mighty Boy.`

▷Disney Land is a typically American amusement park called a factory of dream, where all the dreams of childhood are turned into the great world of consumption via advanced technology. You can shake with the White Snow from a fairy tale and see happy faces that know nothing about anxiety and worries. It has well-organized theme parks inside - from joy rides and high-tech tomorrow land to world`s culture museum and a huge shopping mall. It is like a packed set of cookies and play kits. People feel refreshing and exciting out of their routines. It is sorry to think that the prince in the rogue state who still feels insecure about his future tries to escape from the hard reality by immersing himself into the land of happiness ever after.

▷Michael Moore, an eccentric American author of the book `Stupid White Americans,` argues in his book that the U.S. build a theme park in Pyongyang. He suggests that Americans hire Kim Jong-nam as a manager of the park and give Kim Jong-il a little present, Universal Studio. Although it might not save the faltering North Korean economy, he cynically said, by giving the father and the son some work to do, the plan might save North Koreans from misery. If Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program and brinkmanship in exchange for a theme park, how relieving it would be.

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com