Fond Recollections of Dictators, Colored Later by the Lessons of History

tags: North Korea




SEOUL, South Korea — MONICA MACÍAS calls herself the daughter of dictators. Two of them.

Her father was Francisco Macías Nguema, the first president of Equatorial Guinea, whose rule was marked by the execution of thousands. But the man who became her guardian, and father figure, was even more infamous: Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea and creator of a real-life Orwellian dystopia of gulags and near-total information control.

Ms. Macías landed in Mr. Kim’s care when her father asked Mr. Kim to oversee three of his children’s educations. Like many in the cold war-era third world, the African leader looked up to Mr. Kim. Soon after, Mr. Macías was overthrown and executed, but Mr. Kim fulfilled the promise, educating the children at some of the North’s best schools....



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