North Korea’s Kim dynasty is in decay—literally. According to a report in the defector publication Daily NK, the founding dictator Kim Il-sung’s embalmed corpse, which has been on public display for some 20 years, is starting to show its age. “Kim’s skin appears to be deteriorating and his head and body are shrinking,” the newspaper reports. “Party cadres, who generally visit [the mausoleum] more often than anyone else . . . say [Kim is] ‘losing water like a drying pollock.’ ”
North Korea may be too poor to feed its own people, but it’s spared no expense in maintaining Kim’s carcass—blowing through a rumored $800,000 a year. The North lacks scientists with the skills to perform the duty, so it outsources the task to a team of Russian technicians. It’s unsurprising that the Russians are known for their embalming skills. On a recent visit to Moscow, The Scrapbook viewed Lenin’s corpse, and he looked remarkably well preserved for someone who’s been dead for 90 years. Though it did look a little, er, waxy. Maybe the solution to North Korea’s conundrum can be found at Madame Tussaud’s.