North Korea's “Dear Leader” may be gone but online retailers at China's Taobao Internet Mall are making sure he's not forgotten by flogging Kim Jong-Il t-shirts and hoodies. The 100% cotton shirts' design frames a youngish Kim Jong-Il's portrait in mid-salute, framed by KIM JONG IL (no hyphen) and WORLD HERO in open block letters. Smaller text above the name reads “DEAR LEADER”, “COMRADE” and “GENERALISSIMO”.
The last term reminds one of the mid-1970s SNL Weekend Update skit in which news anchor Chevy Chase reminds viewers that “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!”
Ironically, the DPRK's Dear Leader (perhaps that should be “Dearly Departed Leader”) is now more popular than ever thanks to international media reports on his passing and as is usually the case, China's legion of entrepreneur merchandisers have seized the opportunity to make a few bucks while Kim Jr.'s carcass is still warm. It's also ironic that these t-shirts and hoodies can't be purchased by Kim Jong-Il's biggest fans: North Koreans. No Internet access, credit cards or hard currency can really cramp one's purchasing power, hmm?
The seller “Xshijoe”, whose wares described above are (at press time) being offered at Taobao, China's largest Internet retail mall, stocks both long-sleeve t-shirts and pouch-front-pocket long-sleeved hoodies.
The t-shirts only come in vermillion red with black graphics and are priced at 50 yuan (about $7.90) each. The hoodies sell for 98 yuan (around $15.50) each and are available in athletic gray, vermillion red and white – all with black graphics. Get 'em while they're hot! (via Japan Today)