originally published at http://www.ebaumsworld.com

North Korea, the world’s last stronghold of hard line communism, has been grabbing a lot of gold in the 2012 Olympics. The stakes are high for the athletes: winners will be generously rewarded when they return home, while losers would be best advised to seek political asylum.

Korean athletes somberly board a plane they pray is not actually a nuclear device

Despite being dressed like dental equipment salesman, the DPRK Olympic team has managed to secure more gold medals than The United Kingdom. One notable winner is weightlifter Kim Un Guk:

This may be the only time you ever see someone from North Korea smile

He set a world record and his display of joy won over audiences worldwide. His upbeat attitude is unusual amongst the North Korean Olympians—the women’s soccer team almost refused to play when a television broadcast accidentally showed the South Korean flag instead of their own.

A North Korean coach shows Olympic officials where they would be hung if they were in North Korea

The athletes attribute much of their success to the North Korean leadership. One weightlifter went so far as to thank the ghost of Kim Jong-Il for his success. The gold-winning judoka An Kum-ae told reporters, “I believe I gave some happiness and joy to our leader, Kim Jong-Un.”

North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un is not a nice person

The menacing pressure behind each North Korean athlete can make us root for them despite their allegiance to the supervillain of world nations. It’s hard to hate this guy because if he hadn’t succeeded at lifting weights, he’d be violently forced to lift rocks.

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