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Five interesting facts about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, February 18, 2017  /  09:03 am
Five interesting facts about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP/Wong Maye-E)

North Korea is known for being an incredibly secretive nation, and its leader, Kim Jong-un, is no different.

Not much is known about the youngest son of Kim Jong-il, including his exact date of birth -- some sources say he’s 33 years old, while others say 32. Still, certain interesting facts have slipped through the cracks.

Youngest world leader

After becoming the leader of North Korea at the age of 28, Kim Jong-un became the world’s youngest leader.

Following Kim Jong-un is Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is currently 36 years old and the youngest sovereign in the world. Georgia’s former prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, was previously second on this list and was 33 years old when he resigned in 2015. 

Read also: Indonesian caught up in murder case of North Korean prominent figure

Love of basketball

Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of basketball. He invited former Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman to visit him on multiple occasions. Rodman has received criticism for their unusually friendly relationship. The strange relationship even spawned a documentary, Dennis Rodman's Big Bang in Pyongyang.

Only general in the world without military experience

Kim Jong-un’s official military title is that of daejang, the senior military rank used in both North and South Korea. It’s the equivalent of both general and admiral in other countries. Despite this prestigious title, he has no military experience. 

Read also: China bans 'fatty' Kim Jong Un nickname on websites

Endorsed Western junk foods that were previously banned

In an attempt to re-brand Korea and turn it into a “children's heaven nation”, Kim Jong-un spent the early part of his reign endorsing foods like pizza, french fries and hamburgers. The first pizzeria in North Korea was opened in 2009 during his father’s rule.

Secretly went to school in Switzerland

This has not been entirely confirmed. Some say his older brother, Kim Jong-chul, might have been the one schooled in Switzerland. Certain sources say that Kim Jong-un attended the International School of Berne under the name “Pak Un” and that all of Kim Jong-il’s children were Swiss-educated.

He apparently showed a great affinity for basketball, though his grades and attendance were poor. (sul/kes)  

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