Kimjongilia and Kimjongeunia trivia

According to Bloomberg, Kim Jong Un [Eun] might have his own flower.

North Korea celebrated Kim Jong Il’s birthday today with tens of thousands of flowers. The most intriguing blossom is a new variety of begonia sent on his son’s birthday that may signify preparations for a succession.

Floral tributes arrived from China, Japan, Laos, Russia and Syria, the Korean Central News Agency reported this month. The inclusion of a new breed of begonia delivered on the Jan. 8 birthday of youngest son Kim Jong Un follows a pattern of using flowers to help legitimize the ruling family’s power, according to Paik Hak Soon, a director of inter-Korean relations at the Seongnam, South Korea-based Sejong Institute.

“North Korean leaders have used the flowers as a propaganda tool to glorify their leadership,” Paik said. “The flower is an obvious sign that Kim Jong Il is preparing a handover,” he said, adding that both Kim and his father Kim Il Sung, who founded the nation, have their own designated blossoms.

Flower symbolism?  I believe Emperor of Japan is owed some royalties!

Anyhow, I was looking forward to seeing pictures of  the new “Kimjongeunia” but it turns out the flower might not exist.  According to the same article in Bloomberg:

[Kim Il Sung] received a hybrid orchid in 1965 from Indonesian President Sukarno and named it Kimilsungia. Kim was given his begonia in 1988. It is called Kimjongilia and dubbed the “immortal flower” to glorify his leadership.

KCNA said both Kim Jong Il’s flower and the begonia delivered on Jan. 8 were sent by a Japanese botanist named Mototeru Kamo. The KCNA report didn’t mention the son.

Kamo, who said he has visited North Korea about 10 times, denied sending a new flower to commemorate Kim Jong Un. Neither had the 1988 begonia been intended for the father, Kamo said by telephone from his office in Kakegawa, Japan. “At the time, no one knew anything about Kim Jong Il,” he said. “Therefore, there’s no way I could create a flower to suit his image. Horticulture and politics should be separate.”

Read the full story here:
Birthday Flower May Be Part of Kim Jong Il Succession
Bloomberg
Bomi Lim
2/15/2010

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3 Responses to “Kimjongilia and Kimjongeunia trivia”

  1. Simon says:

    I was at the Kimjongilia festival a few days ago and it was the usual red Begonia-overload, no other flowers in sight apart from the odd scattered magnolia (the national flower) and Kimilsungia. No sign of anything that might be a Kimjongunia, in fact as far as I’m aware no official announcement to the general public about him has been made yet. The new big thing in Pyongyang now is ‘CNC’ which NK seems to be going gaga over; there’s a song about it, signs up everywhere going on about it, a synchronised swimming act about it on Feb 16th and programs on TV hailing it as the best thing since sliced bread – I has no idea what it was but its been explained to me as some kind of innovation in machine tool technology that only the most advanced countries have, anyway its still a mystery to me but I predict that we’ll be hearing more about CNC throughout the year, the song is resonably catchy too, although fairly generic
    PS: Beijing Central railway station currently has a load of adverts on the walls promoting something from a company called ‘Keen & Juche’ I haven’t got the foggiest notion of what this is or what they make; presumably they make it themselves under their own guidance, and with great vigour and enthusiasm though!

  2. Gag Halfrunt says:

    CNC stands for computer numerical control. Wikipedia says:

    “Numerical control (NC) refers to the automation of machine tools that are operated by abstractly programmed commands encoded on a storage medium, as opposed to manually controlled via handwheels or levers, or mechanically automated via cams alone. The first NC machines were built in the 1940s and ’50s, based on existing tools that were modified with motors that moved the controls to follow points fed into the system on paper tape. These early servomechanisms were rapidly augmented with analog and digital computers, creating the modern computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools that have revolutionized the design process.”

  3. […] You know you made it in North Korea when they start naming flowers after you. […]