SF: Thank you for your time Mr Kim. Before we start could I just say—
(An aide to the North Korean leader clamps her hand over Dr Freud’s mouth and angrily whispers into his ear. Freud’s eyes open wide in fright as he desperately nods).
SF: With my deepest most profound and sincere apologies, Supreme Leader.
SL: That’s better.
SF: I would like to say, on behalf of all freedom loving people of the world, Happy Birthday.
SL: Better still. You will no doubt have observed the complete absence of traffic this morning. Do not for one moment believe the contemptible and vicious untruth that this quietude results from an absence of vehicles or fuel or indeed driving skills. On the contrary, my beloved people are conserving what little energy they have for the grand party I throw every 8 January. It’s the best meal most of them eat for the whole year. Come along and see for yourself.
SF: That’s very kind of you, Supreme Leader, I’ll do my best. Now if I may ask about your new year resolutions.
SL: You may.(Awkward pause.)
SF: Is it true you resolved to be even more resolute and determined than ever before in fighting the imperialist ambitions of the US military-industrial complex and its lickspittle running dogs?
SL: I don’t know, did I? Sounds like a plan.
SF: Your comments were widely reported in the international media.
SL: I only read the Pyongyang Bugle.
SF: Do you feel fulfilled?
SL: That’s a silly question, who do you think you are? (An aide whispers to him.) Oh, is that right. Well of course I feel fulfilled. Every moment of every day of every year, someone, somewhere in the world is talking about me. Isn’t that a hoot!
SF: But if I might dare to suggest—
SL: That’s not a phrase anyone uses with me after what happened to Uncle Jang!
SF: The Defence Minister?SL: No, no. That idiot walked in front of an anti-aircraft gun just as it was fired. Uncle Jang fed himself to starving dogs. You know what he’d done?
SL: (Breathes deeply) He came to me one day and said, and I quote, might I dare to suggest we turn our swords into plough shares.
SF: That’s a very famous phrase, there’s something in it you know.
SL: In your dreams.
SF: Well that was going to be my next question. But you have a very busy schedule, we’ll leave it. I wonder if you’d be so kind, though, to make a note of what you dream about before we talk again.
SL: I hope you get to the airport alright.