Today, the 15th of April, is "The Day of the Sun" in North Korea, the day on which the nation's founding father Kim Il-sung was born 99 years ago. But unlike his son, Kim Jong-il — who was born magically on Baekdu Mountain under a double rainbow on the same day as the creation of a new star in the sky — the late Kim was just your average Marxist guerilla from a modest background who single handedly defeated the Japanese in World War Two and went on to found the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, all while on his way to becoming the "Great Leader."
There is no organized political opposition, free media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom. Arbitrary arrest, detention, lack of due process, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees remain serious and endemic problems. North Korea also practices collective punishment for various anti-state offenses, for which it enslaves hundreds of thousands of citizens in prison camps, including children. The government periodically publicly executes citizens for stealing state property, hoarding food, and other "anti-socialist" crimes.
Hmm, not so great. Happy Birthday anyway, Great Leader!
[Image via Getty]