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Can Kim Jong-Un Control The Weather?

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Reporting from Pyongyang under the supervision of the North Korean government provided an opportunity to question officials about the secretive state and its leader - reported the SkyNews.

Where does Kim Jong-un live?

The White House, The Kremlin, Downing Street, the Elysee Palace, all world famous seats of power and the list could go on.

So this sounds a silly question, right? But we asked government officials, repeatedly, where Kim Jong-un lived, and got no answer. They either blanked over, looked away, changed the topic or walked off.

I suspect he spends most of his time in a secure base somewhere in the countryside outside Pyongyang.

I can't work out whether the people we asked knew and had been told not to say, or simply had no idea.

So why the mystery? Security perhaps, for a leader who believes the US is planning to invade. And yet, for a dynasty that demands idolisation from its people, and fear from the rest of the world, not to have a focal point of that power is just, frankly, odd.

How strong is Kim Jong-un's leadership?

It appears absolute. The citizens worship him, there is little dissent, and any that is, is swiftly dealt with.

A strategy of high-profile executions of senior military generals has fed the fear of opposition. And that is just the discipline that we know of.

But he has weaknesses.

Being young, 30-something, Kim Jong-un is more inexperienced than his father Kim Jong-il and his Grandfather Kim Il-sun. Unlike them, he has no heroic military fable for his public to indulge.

Portraits of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sun hang in every classroom, office, hotel and, I would imagine, house. But none of the current leader. Why?

Simply, he doesn't have the depth of character or qualifications his relatives had, and that could become a problem if you continue to demand total support from - in particular - the military.

And then there is the economy. It is struggling, and I mean struggling in North Korean terms.

Some 90% of exports are to China; it was around 50% in the 2000s. And the value of those exports fell 9.8% over the past year to August.

If Kim Jong-un wants to keep his apparatchiks onside, he must continue to fund their elite lifestyle.

How capable is North Korea's military?

I watched tens of thousands of soldiers goose-step past me in Kim Il-sun square. Next came the hardware; tanks, rocket launchers, missiles bigger than any I’d ever seen before. Huge things. Too huge.

State television, in its daily homage to Kim Jong-un, shows pictures of him observing military exercises.

North Korea wants the world to fear it. They invited the media, as they have before, to witness the military parade and all the best bits about the country. And yet, as far as I know, no outsider has ever been allowed to witness the North Korean military in action, first hand.

The military is vast in size, certainly. Such is the way in states with national conscription.

But how strong are they really?

Can Kim Jong-un control the weather?


The weather, when we woke up on the morning of the military parade, was overcast and rainy. The forecast said it was set to stay like that all day.

For hours we waited in our hotel, wondering what the delay was. We had been told the event would start mid-morning. It was obvious the weather was raining on Kim Jong-un's parade.

But watch the television pictures back and you'll see the event took place in brilliant sunshine and then about an hour after the parade finished, it started raining again. Russia and the Chinese are known to have the ability to temporally disperse the clouds using a chemical.

"Is this what the North Koreans did?" we asked our government guide.

"No! Our great President, the founder of DPRK Kim Il-sun is The Sun and he shone down from heaven and made the sun shine," was the immediate reply.

"Um, er, could it have been anything else?" we gently queried.


"Yes, maybe."

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