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Published: Friday, 7/16/2004

You want ideology with that?

IN KIM Jong Il s North Korea, where Coca Cola is called the cesspool water of American capitalism, the hamburger is having a heyday. And don t forget the fries.

How s that? North Korea, whose leadership hates Americans? North

Korea, intermittently on the brink of starvation? Yes, North Korea

university types feeding themselves on the gogigyeopbbang

(translated as two pieces of bread with meat), with or without

cheese, ketchup, onion, tomato, and lettuce.

Officialdom seems to be crediting introduction of the

cholesterol-packed burger and fries combo to Mr. Kim himself.

According to the state news agency the dear leader decided four

years ago to feed quality bread and french fries to university

students, professors, and researchers even if we are in (economic)


He didn t have in mind that last bastion of culinary commonness, the

burger. His Hollywood-tempered vision called for a burger factory.

Since the burgers were for an elite group to begin with students,

professors, and researchers at the high-end Kim Sung Il University in

Pyongyang one might assume they re made of beef, but one can t be sure. Rations of North Korea s wavering classes entitled them to only dog meat.

While more meat in the diet may benefit some, Mr. Kim s embrace of

fatty foods from which many Americans are now attempting to wean

themselves speaks to a tad of good intent overwhelmed by the

ignorance of isolation.

North Korea s boss learns what he knows of America, and that would

include his eating habits, from the movies. So instead of introducing

quality food to North Korean college students, he has introduced

them to a proven way to clog their arteries. How unfortunate.

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