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Kim Jong-il shells out half a million to Japan

Now, here’s a curious occurrence.  Looks like the Dear Leader is willing to forgo a little caviar and Joy Brigades to help out the hometown of his son’s mother.  The Time news feed makes an argument that $500k is a lot of money for a country like North Korea.

In other irrelevant North Korea news, the New York Times reviews Homefront!  The game isn’t all that different than a lot of first person shoot ‘em ups, but the reviewer thought that the storyline was interesting (even, gasp, somewhat plausible).  Plus, unlike other games in the genre, you are not fighting in the forests of France or the streets of Mogadishu but you are actually running around (with a gun) the streets of America, through abandoned Walmarts and Hooters restaurants which the reviewer thought provided a level of “connection” absent from other games.

  • http://twitter.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

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  • http://www.gwern.net/ gwern

    > The Time news feed makes an argument that $500k is a lot of money for a country like North Korea.

    Which makes it all the better domestic propaganda – giving charity raises one’s own status and lowers that of the recipient. ‘Look how wealthy we are that we can donate this much, and how generous and humanitarian that we will donate to the former occupiers that the glorious leader fought against as a young man.’ Dictators do this all the time – Saddam Hussein with the Palestinians, Chavez with cheap oil for New Yorkers, etc.

  • slim

    1. We have to take North Korea’s word on this donation. Never good.

    2. Shaking down the Zainichi unfortunate enough to have DPRK passports (and relatives who were hostages in the North) was a key Kim Family Regime fundraising M.O. for decades. Kim’s merely giving them back their money.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Shaking down the Zainichi unfortunate enough to have DPRK passports

    Excellent point slim. They are just getting some of their pachinko money back.

  • http://technobar.blogspot.com TheStumbler

    Given the recent Yeonpyeong Island situation, perhaps “shells out” was not the best verb for this headline? Or was it?

  • Hamilton

    Maybe they just sent back the pocket change of the hundreds of Japanese they kidnapped over the years.

  • babotaengi

    Just finished the Homefront campaign. Sure it was terribly short – I even knew beforehand that it was gonna be short and it still came as a surprise when it suddenly ended – however the story is very well done.

    The set-up for North Korea’s expansion isn’t plausible at all, but it is presented in a way that makes it seem as though it is, which was all the suspension of disbelief I needed (I showed my wife the intro without telling her what it was, and she said, “Oh my God, Kim Jong-Il’s dead?! Oh my God, THAT’S Kim Jong-Un?! What, this is a game??! I hate you!”

    Furthermore, the characters are really well drawn, for a video game: characters who are likeable heroes get wasted early; Americans are depicted torturing and brutally killing North Korean POWs (for perspective, I guess); your buddies accidently hit their own soldiers with white phosphorus missiles, burning them alive; one character, who starts out a violent, rash, bloodthirsty stereotype of the US military, you are made to feel respect for to the point where I was actually sad when he died. Maybe it was the two beers I drank while playing, but I thought the story was told better than any other FPS I’ve played. As for the gameplay – basically the same as Call of Duty.