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Before you get into the engineering-a-savior-for-humankind business, you need to make sure you’ve got all your ingredients in place: unrivaled mental prowess, an incorruptible moral core, divine genetic stock and, of course, a miracle birth.

Lest humankind forget about his greatness, they will need some reminding. Statues must be erected, songs must be written, and both the urban and rural landscapes must feature messages, every few city blocks or country miles, that “he” is with you, always. And let’s not forget the children…Finally and most importantly, “his” “cause” must be so stupefyingly great that it’s worth dying for.

Several writers have been referring to North Korea as a theocracy for years. It’s all there: The “Dear Leader” (Kim Jong Il) was, according to N. Korean textbooks, born on the sacred peaks of Mount Paektu. Upon his arrival, a brilliant new star burst into the night sky and a swallow descended from heaven to greet the infant, whose greatness was announced to the world from a crevice in a giant iceberg. Then a double rainbow appeared. (Soviet records suggest the events surrounding Kim’s birth were slightly less glamorous: he was apparently born in Siberia, 1941, after his parents fled Korea to escape the Japanese).

And today, with a massive joint US-South Korean naval and air power exercise occurring in the Sea of Japan, North Korea’s official state-news agency announced that the North Korean people must prepare for a “sacred war”. Just saying.

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