Today is believed to be North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's birthday. Most observers believe it is his 30th.
January 8th is pronounced in Korean as ‘ilpal’ (one-eight). But the Korean word for eighteen, ‘sippal’, happens to be a homophone of the swear-word ‘f**king’. Pyongyang residents have decided to take advantage of this pun. They are referring to Kim Jong-un’s birthday as the ‘f**king birthday celebrations’, and compulsory apple-picking days as ‘f**king Apple-Picking Days’.
Among some groups of trusted friends, it goes further than that: Kim Jong-un is referred to as ‘f**king comrade’, ‘f**king Marshal or ‘f**king Kim the Third’.
While such a joke may seem innocent enough to us, in North Korea — a country where leaders are revered with a near god-like status due to a tremendous cult of personality — its a very big deal.
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