I’ve just read a book I must recommend to you all — Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, by Michael Malice.
The book is extraordinary in that it captures, with frightening accuracy, not only the near-solipsistic narcissism of the fully developed totalitarian dictator, but also the seductiveness of the expertly managed personality cult that surrounds such men. One finds oneself at times almost irresistibly drawn to the Kims, and to the Juche Idea. (Reading the Koran can have the same feeling.)
The author, Michael Malice, has spent some time in North Korea, and probably knows the DPRK as well as any Westerner. I met him recently at a small dinner-and -discussion gathering, where he gave a fascinating talk about the place. There really is no other country like it anywhere on Earth. (He is also the founder of the website Overheard in New York.)
Read this book. And when you are done, read the haunting short story It’s a Good Life, by Jerome Bixby. Then it will all make sense.