Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What do we know about Kim Jong Un?

Who exactly is Kim Jong Un, the youngest son and expected heir to North Korea leader Kim Jong Il?
Kim Jong Un is described as "a chip off the old block, a spitting image of his father in terms of face, body shape and personality" by their former chef writing under the name of Kenji Fujimoto.

According to reports, Kim Jong Un was born in either 1983 or 1984 to Kim Jong Il's late third wife, Ko Yong Hui. His mother is described as "doting" to Jung-un and nicknamed him the "Morning Star King".  (She died in 2004, reportedly from breast cancer.)

Kim Jong Un attended school in Switzerland during the 1990s and was trained in English, German and French. While there he avoided any Western influences and mostly dined with the North Korean ambassador. He then studied military science at Kim Il Sung Military University between 2002 and 2006.

He is believed to be much more ambitious than either of his brothers.

Like his father, Jong Un is believed to already have diabetes and heart disease due to a lack of exercise. One report pegs him at 5'9 and about 200 pounds. Despite his stature, he is said to be a basketball fan.

Unlike his father, there is no cult of personality for Jong Un. He is not well-known to North Koreans, although there are reports the propaganda machine is gearing up for Jong-un. Some 10 million portraits are being prepared of him to hang alongside his father and grandfather, reports say. There have also been poems and songs written about him promoting his leadership qualities.

However, Jong Un will not be able to control the country on his own immediately after his father's death. Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law, Jang Song Taek, is also on the defense commission and is seen as a power broker behind the scenes.

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