Saturday, August 14, 2010

An American as a North Korean government spokesman

"Good evening...and welcome to Global Perspectives on CNN. I'm Fareed Zakaria. Tonight...we talk to a man who has a difficult job...explaining and defending the actions of the North Korean government to the world. But what makes our guest unique is that he was born and raised in the United States. His name is Tom Fooley...and we interviewed him earlier this week via Skype from Pyongyang."

Director calls for tape to roll.

"Mr. Fooley...welcome to Global Perspectives."

"Thank you for having me on the program."

"Mr. Fooley. Please explain your job to our audience."

"My job is just like that of Robert Gibbs...that is, to discuss the interests, policies and goals of my government. He represents the Obama administration while I represent the strong, long-time leadership of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il."

"You say, my government. But you are an American."

"No, sir. I was born in America. But I am now a citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."

"You have surrendered your American citizenship?"

"I have. I could not continue to be a citizen of a nation that uses its military and economic might to suppress people at home and abroad."


"The lack of economic balance in the United States is appalling."

"But, Mr. Fooley. Certainly you are not going to suggest that the economic conditions in North Korea are better than we see in the United States."

"No country, no nation, is perfect. No nation has perfect economic conditions. But the exploitation of the people in the United States and the West is unforgivable. It doesn't happen here. Dear Leader has seen to it."

"And you blame whom for that exploitation that you say exists?"

"Governments and corporations that work together to promote their own interests over the needs of the people."

"And that does not happen in North Korea?"

"The North Korean people are not exploited by their government."

"You really believe that?"

"It's not what I believe. It is fact."

"Are you suggesting then that the North Korean people have a better life than Americans?"

"I am saying they are not exploited by their government. The government of our Dear Leader understands the needs of the people. It is committed to improving the lives of the people. He is following the lead of his father, the Great Leader, Kim Il-Sung."

"I find that hard to believe, considering, for example, the political prisoners who are in North Korean prisons."

"You speak with no knowledge of our situation, Mr. Zakaria. There are no political prisoners in North Korea."



"But you..."

"In fact, sir, I would ask you to challenge your own government to explain why it continues to hold Muslims in horrible conditions at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Or why it throws into jail more than 1 in every 4 black males. This is good leadership? Moral leadership? I would ask you to have your government explain why it allows for your so-called political prisoners."

"Mr. Fooley, with all respect, this conversation is not about the U.S. government."

"And why not? You accused my government of holding political prisoners. Am I not allowed to question you on the same charge?"

"Let's take a step back for a moment. How did an American citizen..."

"Sir, I remind you again that I am not an American citizen."

"Bear with me. How an American citizen ended up in Pyongyang and then surrendering his citizenship."

"I will make this quick. This interview should not be about me. Dear Leader reminds us that all good things in our land are a result of him and his leadership. He is the man we should be talking about. But nevertheless I will indulge you in your typical Western-media fascination with celebrity and personality over substance.

"I graduated from college in the United States and had an opportunity to visit the great Soviet Union in the late 1980s. There, I was soon introduced to an organization that was seeking to foster better cultural ties with the United States. I was asked to help out. I did.

"I traveled to China in August 1991 to discuss the potential of expanding this cultural association to and with the Chinese. It was at about this time that the West provoked members of the Soviet military into a coup attempt on Chairman Gorbachev."

"Sir, allow me to interrupt. The West was involved in this coup? What is your evidence?"

"Mr. Zakaria. The death of the Soviet Union was George Bush's ticket to re-election. Or so he thought."

"You are saying..."

"Why do you continue to interrupt me, Mr. Zakaria? Such a trait is never displayed by the great North Korean people. It is rude.

"So, once the great Soviet Union was dissolved a short time later, I, of course, had no interest in returning to the new Russia. China did desire to increase this cultural program and I remained there for about five years. Then I was asked if I wanted to come here, to Pyongyang, to expand the program even further."

"So, how did you then end up working for the government?"

"About five years ago, representatives of the Dear Leader came to me and said that for his great message to be more effectively spread throughout the West, a wise decision had been made by our Dear Leader to put an English-speaking person in the role of government spokesperson."

"At what point in this near 20-year period away from the United States, did you give up your citizenship?"

"When I came here. Dear Leader explained to me it was a necessary decision. Of course, I instantly saw the wisdom of his recommendation."


Alright, no such interview would ever take place. But wouldn't it be interesting?

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