Pyongyang, North Korea. It was announced today by North Korean supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, that he is initiating a national genome sequencing program which aims to decode the genomes of the entire North Korean population of 25 million people. It was also revealed that North Korea have been successful in their bid to host the next Annual Genomics Beach and Tequila conference (AGBT) in Pyongyang in 2015.
Kim Jong-un claims to be a keen genome scientist and within North Korea it is believed that he personally discovered the structure of DNA along with his colleague and friend, basketball star Dennis Rodman who will lead the North Korean genome project. He also takes credit for design and construction of the official state genome sequencer which will be used for the program “the Peoples Genome Machine or (PGM) which looks very similar to a 454 FLX. Un is quoted as saying “With the Peoples Genome Machine We have no need of Illumina’s oppressive tools of western capitalist subjugation.” He went on to explain that in future, a persons party ranking will be based on how similar their genome is to his own. Enrollment into the sequencing program will be entirely voluntary but they had 25 million volunteers within an hour of the launch.
It is thought that Kim Jong-un wishes to use the AGBT meeting next year to promote his country’s recent investment in genomics. The genomics community are currently heading for a week or excess and hedonism at the five star Marriott Resort Hotel on the sandy gulf coast beach in Florida which has hosted the AGBT conference for the last 200 years.
AGBT Committee chair and time traveler Elaine Tardis said “Although North Korea don’t have a track record in genomics they do have strengths in other areas such as, propaganda, crowd hysteria and hyping technology that they don’t actually have. These are all very important qualities for running a good AGBT conference”
However many genome scientists are not as keen, Rick McZombie of Cold Spring Harbor and AGBT party animal said “I think the committee are moving away from the principals that made this conference so popular. There is only one important requirement for an AGBT host and that is -can they make a good margarita? I have not heard that North Korea has any track record cocktail mixing”