The Interview: One-on-One with Kim Jong-un
by Don Laskin
December 21, 2014
1st Amendment-protected opinion from Don Laskin
(Editor's note: For the 1 percent who might not recognize it as such, this is written as a satire.)
Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with Kim Jong-un of North Korea for a one-on-one interview. No recording devices were permitted and I’m not at liberty to disclose the exact location. I can tell you it was at a Starbucks somewhere in Silicon Valley.
Through our interview I discovered Mr. Kim often comes to the United States incognito under the guise of an NBA referee or as a ball boy for the New Orleans Pelicans, hence his close association with Dennis Rodman and his remarkable fluency in English punctuated by the occasional “Yo,” “Get outta my face” and “dog.”
This particular trip was to his favorite Best Buy to get a refund on an iPhone 6 that had evidently been jailbroken by the Geek Squad. Now it was unable to get WiFi and the phone’s data charges were through the roof, sucking money from the North Korean economy that Kim thought could be put to much better use aiding the people with improved nuclear delivery systems and more inspiring statues.
In his dark glasses, Ray Rice Jersey, bright red Kobe 9 High KRM EXT running shoes, and a baseball cap turned backward, Kim Jong-un had quite an effective disguise. Save for the shock of black hair pushing the ball cap several inches above his head and the body guards attempting to look inconspicuous at nearby tables variously disguised as venture capitalists, software engineers and a barista, he looked like anybody else enjoying a mid-morning Starbucks break.
As he sipped his caramel brulée latte and munched a pumpernickel bagel with cream cheese and a slice of Bermuda onion, we got down to the interview. Following is the word-for-word uncut and unedited transcript.
Note about height, which seems to be a sore point with the Kim family:
Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, was listed at 5’1”, 2” or 3”. When it comes to the subject of height, his grandfather Kim Il-song, appears to have had an unlisted number. As to Kim Jong-un being 5’9” — with a lot of artificial aids perhaps?.
DL: Shall I call you Mr. Kim or would you prefer Dear Leader the way your people address you?
KJ: Dear Leader sounds so formal. Just call me Dear.
DL: Uh, Mr. Kim, I want to get right down to it. People say you had your own uncle killed and his body ripped apart and devoured by wild dogs just because he wasn’t deferential enough toward you.
KJ: A total exaggeration. The dogs were not wild. And he was not my favorite uncle. When he came to visit, he never put the seat up.
DL: You mean down.
KJ: I mean up. You ever go to the bathroom at 2 in the morning and plunk down on a wet sticky seat? If it happened to you a couple of times, how would you react?
DL: We understand you also had his entire family killed.
KJ: You know the saying about the apple not falling far from the tree. Well, it’s the same with the pea. (He laughed heartily at his double entendre. The venture capitalists, software engineers and barista laughed heartily as well).
DL: We hear your people don’t get enough to eat.
KJ: Again an exaggeration. They are on diets.
DL: Diets? The whole country?
KJ: Absolutely. In America there’s an obesity epidemic leading to diabetes and heart attacks. In North Korea we don’t have that.
DL: What about North Korea’s labor camps?
KJ: Okay, whats your unemployment rate? Like five percent or something? And that’s supposed to be good. Well our rate is zero. Zip. Nada. Everybody works. And there’s no homeless problem. With camps, we have killed two birds with one stone.
DL: What about consumer goods? North Korea seems to have very few cars for example.
KJ: We’re working on that, but it is a most vexing problem. You see it all has to do with our Department of Motor Vehicles. Not unlike the USA, it is very inefficient. And our DMV hasn’t been computerized. So, people can’t get drivers’ licenses. No driver’s license. No car. That’s why we have so few cars.
DL: You mentioned computers, let’s talk about computers. Did you hack Sony pictures, release internal data, and threaten to destroy the company if ‘The Interview’ were released just because you were the target of an assassination plot in a satirical movie?
KJ: No way Jose. You see the trailer? That flick was an unfunny dog, Dog. I mean the guy who was supposed to be me didn’t look anything like me. He was fat and un-cool. I can state unequivocally and with no fear of contradiction… Yo (Mr. Kim turned to several people in the Starbucks) anybody want to contradict me? (They all shook their heads no) Like I said, Dog, with no fear of contradiction, I did not hack Sony.
DL: Did you have somebody else do it?
KJ: Absolutely not, but I can tell you who did it. Republicans.
DL: The Republicans?
KJ: The hackers signed all their messages Guardians Of Peace. GOP also stands for Grand Old Party, the Republican Party’s nickname. A coincidence? I think not.
DL: Well President Obama believes North Korea was responsible and said he would retaliate with a measured response. Do you think that could mean a freeze on shoe-lift exports since the President emphasized the word measured? And would that be aimed directly at you?
KJ: What’s your email address? Who’s your service provider? What’s your YouTube channel? (As my chair was carried to the door -- with me in it -- by a venture capitalist, a barista and two software engineers, Mr. Kim shouted after me) And I’m six foot….TWO AND A HALF…IN MY STOCKING FEET.
This is Don “5 foot 7” Laskin and that was Observations.
About Don Laskin
Laskin is an award-winning writer/concepter, whose dry sense of humor occasionally gets him to trouble with people who don’t share it. He is experienced in virtually all marketing areas from online (email blasts, blogs, website content, banner ads), SEO and social networking to traditional advertising (broadcast and print to DM campaigns). And, he’s covered a number of industries from hi-tech to biotech to real estate and more. Laskin has a BA in history from CCNY, which The New York Times described as "the proletarian Harvard" and whose alumni include US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, Ambassador Henry Kissinger, General Colin Powell, Ira Gershwin, writers Mario Puzo (Godfather), Bernard Malamud (The Natural), Upton Sinclair and NYC Mayors Ed Koch and Abe Beame. Laskin served a combat tour in the US Army in Vietnam – nobody said he was young.