Tuesday, December 20, 2011

State Department #3 on Kim Jong-Il: "Smart, Witty, Problem-Solver, Humorous, Engaged"

From Foreign Policy's The Cable blog:

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is one of the very few Obama administration senior officials to have met North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il -- and she had lots of interesting praise for the Dear Leader.

Sherman, who served as State Department counselor and North Korea policy coordinator under former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, traveled to Pyongyang with Albright in 2000. Here's how the NPR obit on Kim, who died this past weekend, described her take on Kim:
Wendy Sherman, a special adviser to President Clinton on North Korea, accompanied then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang in 2001, and met Kim along with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson.
"We shared similar impressions of meeting him. He was smart and a quick problem-solver," Sherman says. "He is also witty and humorous. Our overall impression was very different from the way he was known to the outside world."

Sherman sat next to Kim at a stadium to watch a huge festival of synchronized dancing. She says she turned to Kim and told him she had the sense that in some other life, he was a "great director."

"He clearly took such delight in putting these performances together," she says....MORE
Umm, the guy was a stone cold murderer.
While we would use the North Korean propaganda photos from Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things to ridicule the little psychopath, I fear Ms. Sherman is serious.

looking at the audience
looking at the audience