Monday, June 15, 2009

A Photo of North Korean Heir Apparent

A photograph of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's heir apparent Jong-un at the age of 16 was published in the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on Sunday. The Japanese daily said the photo was taken in June 1999, when Jong-un, then at junior high school in Switzerland under the assumed name Park Un, posed with his classmates.

Chosun Ilbo reports that Jong-un was in Berne from the summer of 1996 until January 2001. He originally studied at Berne International School, which his older brother Jong-chul (28), also attended, but Jong-un transferred to a public school there a few months later.

The teacher recalls Jong-un as a taciturn and secretive boy. "A few years later, I was surprised to hear from the police that he was the son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il." His math teacher and now principal of the school said, "He worked hard at everything. He was good at math and his grades were not bad in English and German either."

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