North Korea: Kim Jong-un Not Dead, Just Rehearsing Juliet's Death Scene for the Big Spring Play
by Edward Precht. @pertoltprecht.
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA – Earlier today, both Japanese and Chinese news outlets released stories that Kim Jong-un, son of the late Kim Jong-il and dictator of North Korea, has died. In response, the Korean Central News Agency has released their own statement, correcting what they believe to be a “misinterpretation of actual events” and clarifying that Kim Jong-un is not dead, but is instead just rehearsing Juliet’s famous death scene for the country’s big Spring production of Romeo & Juliet.
“Our Glorious Leader is perfectly healthy,” reads the press release. “He is deep into rehearsals for the show – it is what we in the business call 'Hell Week'. He is spending much of his considerable focus on Act Five, Scene Three, in which our heroine passes away after waking up next to the body of her lost love."
The statement continued on to describe the leader's rehearsal process.
"Leader Kim is a method actor, and has spent much of this week with his eyes closed, his body still, his pulse so low it very well could be mistaken for not being there at all. We could wake him up at any time. But we won’t. He gets very in his head around the big Spring performance. What if an agent comes? What if he goes to Broadway? He is the greatest actor who’s ever lived. We simply cannot wake him.”
The press release also included pictures of the theater, which was clearly just a warehouse with hastily-printed posters that read “Roomeo J&uliet” hung everywhere, as well as a few behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos, which were clearly just cardboard cut-outs of Dennis Rodman in Shakespearean costumes. However, Pak Yong-sik, North Korea’s Minister of Defense, backed up the press release with a statement of his own.
“He is a Shakespeare fanatic. Our Leader takes all of the Bard’s work very seriously,” he noted. “Why, his Lear was enough to reduce the audience to sobs on literal command. Who can forget his immersive performance of Julius Caesar? Practically the whole world was involved. He has drive. Ambition. Talent. And I should know, because I’m, uh, the play’s director, and not the Minister of Defense. Yes, the director. Shows have directors, and he’s in a show, so I am the director. No more questions”
Others aren’t so sure about the press release’s veracity.
“He’s method acting?” laughs Kato Nishikawa, a Japanese reporter. “Are you serious? That’s impossible. I saw that guy try his hand at The Tempest for last year’s summer stock. He can’t act his way out of a plastic bag. But he got a 40 minute standing ovation and won all the major theater awards and oh I get it, I understand now.”
At press time, North Korean government representatives provided no estimate for when their leader who awaken and continue to run the country, but did note that it could be a while, as he was just cast as Titania in a Summer run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream along with every other role in the play and already won every award and somehow a North Korean Oscar as well.