When North Korean state media released this delightful photo of newly(ish?)-wed Kim Jong Un on a roller coaster ride, discerning viewers wondered at the identity of the white guy grinning a few rows ahead of him, and at long last Mother Jones magazine has sussed it out: He is Barnaby Jones,
a minor Herman Melville character, a minor '70s television detective, a British diplomat at the embassy in Pyongyang. Though Barnaby Jones didn't give Mother Jones (no relation) an interview, the Embassy did explain itself, saying the regime invited diplomats to the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground opening, where the photo was taken. The statement sounds pretty classically diplomatic:
... While this was an unusual event, it is vital that we actively engage with the North Korean administration since we work closely with them on a number of humanitarian, cultural and education projects which benefit the people of North Korea.
Fine, but we would really love to hear an interview with Jones about that ride.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.