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- January 16, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 2
Five Things to Know About... Kim Jong-Un
Will North Korea's New Leader Reform His Long-Suffering Nation or Rule Like His Dad?
1 He got the job by default
Though he has no leadership experience, Kim Jong-un has been groomed for his post for three years, since his father suffered a stroke. Kim Jong-il's two other known sons didn't qualify because "the oldest got caught trying to sneak into Tokyo Disneyland using Dominican passports," says Kang. "It was very embarrassing. The second son was considered too effeminate. Both are in exile."
2 He was Swiss-schooled
Kim reportedly attended a school in Liebefeld from 1998 to 2000, using the name Pak Un. "I don't hold out hope he is a great reformer," says Kang. But "he knows what it's like to live in a modern, capitalist society."
3 He's a hoops fan
At school "he proudly showed off photographs of himself with Toni Kukoc of the Chicago Bulls and Kobe Bryant [left] of the L.A. Lakers," reports The Washington Post. Kim was described as a competitive player who also made "meticulous pencil drawings of Michael Jordan."
4 The haircut? A family thing
His parted fade may be modeled after Kim Il-sung, his granddad and founder of the North Korean republic. Perhaps to inspire allegiance, says Kang, "he is consciously having his hair, glasses and dress look more like his grandfather."
5 He is a plot point on 30 Rock
Last year Elizabeth Banks's character (left) was kidnapped and forced to wed Kim Jong-un. So far as anyone in the West knows, the real Kim is single.
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