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Fearless Leader!

No mere pol, Kim Jong-il is the engineer who single-handedly designed the huge "Juche" tower in downtown Pyongyang, directed his own propaganda movies, proclaimed himself a broadband master, and shot 38 under par with multiple holes-in-ones on his very first golf outing ever. I have sometimes worried, though, whether his expansive expertise included the musical arts. I shouldn't have feared. Here's a report from one Frederick Carriere, a nonprofit director who took a fact-finding trip to Pyongyang to assess whether the New York Philharmonic should perform there:

Mr. Carriere said the delegation had asked North Korean officials several times whether Mr. Kim, a movie buff who has tried his hand at directing, liked classical music. The officials said Mr. Kim likes all forms of music.

“He’s an expert on everything, apparently,” Mr. Carriere said. Mr. Kim was said to have personally fixed the acoustics at Moranbong Hall.

Considering "experience" the primary virtue in a leader does have its limits.

 --Eve Fairbanks