Summer’s over and it’s time to put away the beach umbrella and hit the books. Except if you are Dennis “Private Time Zone” Rodman and Kim Jong-un. For those two its permanent summer and time to party! Although his utterings can sometimes be hard to decipher (can you imagine being his interpreter?!), in the Beijing airport the Worm kept muttering about having something big up his sleeve. Watch this space.
We’ve had our laughs poking fun at North Korean summer camps, but little did we expect celebrity sightings. NK News ran a story with the eye-catching headline “Daughter of French Socialist politician at summer camp in North Korea,” and it is an odd tale, though there is a bit more than meets the eye. It seems that Jayadevi Cambacérès, daughter of Jean-Marie Cambacérès, did indeed spend a week at Camp Songdowon. Cambacérès père claims that the quotes attributed to his daughter are inaccurate and misleading. (Jean-Marie Cambacérès–the one with the daughter at Songdowon–should not be confused with Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, a former Trotskyist close to Dominique Strauss-Kahn who would have been in line for a big ministry if DSK’s career had not imploded in Viagra-fueled shenanigans. Got it? It’s hard for a lowly gossip columnist to keep these French socialist politicians straight sometimes. Can you imagine how confusing it would be if they were Koreans? They’d all be “Kim” or “Park” or “Lee“!) Anyhow, Jean-Marie–the girl’s father, not the ex-Trot–was a bit of a player back in the day. In 1981 at the behest of Francois Mitterand, he went to Pyongyang and met with Kim Il-sung, and has maintained ties with the KWP since. As for Jayadevi, she is the great-granddaughter of saxophone-playing Prince Sihanouk, whose connection to the DPRK was close.
Dad says she’s studying in London, but if she makes it back to France, maybe Jayadevi can hook up with another celebrity manqué, Kim Han-sol, last seen sporting orange hair in Mostar. According to the Korea Herald, Kim, son of Kim Jong-nam, grandson of Kim Jong-il, and great-grandson of Kim Il-sung, is entering the Europe-Asia undergraduate program at Sciences Po’s Le Havre campus. I’m not sure if they have US News and World Report rankings in France, but a friend tells me it’s a good, though not elite, program.
(And Han-sol, if you and Jayadevi do hook up, don’t make a sex tape, ok?)
In Seoul, a high-ranking intelligence official once explained to me that Kim Jong-il had the world’s second largest collection of pornography. I suppressed the urge to ask who had the largest. What a mistake.