Written by Jane Bostock

In The News

When Did You Last See Your Father of the Nation?

In the wake of the month-long disappearance of Kim Jong-un, international relations lightweight Jane Bostock offers North Korea some helpful tips on finding their leader if he ever goes missing again.

Illustration by Jemima Williams

We’ve all been there, right guys? You absentmindedly fondle the bowl full of crap rather than fruit, feeling for your car keys. But shitting heck, they’re not there. A wave of panic hits you and you run in circles, throwing everything everywhere. Then you realise they were in your hand all along.

So, imagine rather than your car keys, it’s your supreme leader left somewhere unknown, and having to resort to painfully choreographed shots of an empty chair, or a vase of flowers to cover his absence.

Worry no more – and rejoice! – Kim Jong-un has been found. But you can never be too cautious. So, here are my handy hints for finding an erstwhile autocratic head of state, should it happen again.

  • Think about the last place you saw him. Retrace your steps. Narrow it down. Was he visiting a munitions/ cheese factory and pointing at thin air? Is he still there, pointing?
  • Have you looked down the side of the sofa? You always find some lost gem, like a sweet or a pen, so why not a missing 31-year-old man?
  • The dude likes Emmental. Is he in Switzerland?
  • Look in the places you’d be least likely to see him. Have you gone to the local gulags? Called the White House? Is he crouching under the Oval Office desk? Definitely drop South Korea a line.
  • Try Disneyland – his brother went there. Yes, he got exiled for it but at least he got to meet Mickey.
  • He could be lurking unnoticed. Do you have any loose rugs or wide-gapped floorboards? Looked under the bed? Move the yucca to the side?
  • Have you tried the fruit bowl?
  • After all that running and searching, was he in your hand or pocket all along?
  • Have you tried Ealing Broadway? Fed up of seeing endless monolithic statues of himself everywhere, maybe he’s decided to swap the grandeur for a more subdued way of living. The North Korean UK embassy would definitely be a change of scenery – it’s a semi-detached suburban home with flock wallpaper and a DFS sofas. (Don’t believe me? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embassy_of_North_Korea,_London)
  • And if you simply cannot find him, don’t be sad. Some countries would love to have their head of state go walkabout. Try to see the positive side. Experiment. Try democracy or have fun with whoever you next install as puppet leader, like the Chuckle Brothers or Geri Halliwell.

Supreme People’s Assembly, you’re welcome.

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Written by Jane Bostock

A human, like you.