Kim Jong-un rumoured to have undergone plastic surgery Kim Jong-un, the heir to the North Korean regime, has reportedly undergone plastic surgery so that he more closely resembles his grandfather, the deeply respected Kim Il-sung.
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo Published: 6:55AM BST 05 Oct 2010
... The youngest in the Kim dynasty has the same chubby cheeks as his grandfather, a double chin and the familiar mouth that turns down at the ends. He also apparently favours his predecessor's preference for having his hair cut very short at the sides and swept back on top.
The images are in stark contrast to previous photographs, which depict Kim as a slender teenager who looks nothing like his paternal grandfather...
"A lot of people in South Korea have pointed out that Kim's face is very different from when he was young, particularly the shape of his chin," Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and author of a number of books on the North Korean leadership, told The Daily Telegraph.
"From previous photos, everyone had remarked that he looked nothing like his grandfather, so the change is quite dramatic," he said...
"North Korea mourns dead leader, son is "Great Successor"
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Koreans poured into the streets on Monday to mourn the death of leader Kim Jong-il and state media hailed his untested son as the "Great Successor" of the reclusive state whose atomic weapons ambitions are a major threat to the region.
Earlier, a tearful North Korean television announcer, dressed in black and her voice quavering, said the 69-year old ruler died on Saturday of "physical and mental over-work" on a train on his way to give field guidance -- advice dispensed by the "Dear Leader" on trips to factories, farms and the military.
Security concerns over the state, which in 2010 shelled civilians on a South Korean island and is accused of sinking one of its warships earlier that year, were heightened after Seoul said the North had test-fired a short range missile prior to the announcement of Kim's death.
It was the first known launch since June and in a bid to calm tensions, South Korea's defense ministry said it might abandon plans to light Christmas trees on the border, something the North has warned could provoke retaliation.
A U.S. official in Washington appeared to play down the missile test's significance, saying it did not seem linked to Kim's death. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said the U.S. military had so far not raised alert levels for some 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency lauded Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong-un as "the outstanding leader of our party, army and people."
A KCNA dispatch said North Koreans from all walks of life were in utter despair but were finding comfort in the "absolute surety that the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong-un will lead and succeed the great task of revolutionary enterprise."
But there was uncertainty about how much support the third generation of the North's ruling dynasty has among the ruling elite, especially in the military, and concern he might need a military show of strength to help establish his credentials.
"Kim Jong-un is a pale reflection of his father and grandfather. He has not had the decades of grooming and securing of a power base that Jong-il enjoyed before assuming control from his father," said Bruce Klingner, an Asia policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
"(He) may feel it necessary in the future to precipitate a crisis to prove his mettle to other senior leaders or deflect attention from the regime's failings."
Chinese state television showed residents weeping in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. KCNA reported people were "writhing in pain" after losing the man who in 1994 succeeded his father Kim Il-sung, the North's first -- and officially eternal -- president as leader of the totalitarian state.
Large crowds gathered at a massive memorial of Kim Il-sung in central Pyongyang mourning the death of the "Dear Leader." Kim will be laid to rest next to his father, KCNA said.
The funeral of Kim Jong-il, turned into a demi-god by his propaganda machine, will be held on December 28.
News of the death of the man whose push to build a nuclear arsenal left the North heavily sanctioned and internationally isolated, triggered immediate nervousness in the region, with South Korea stepping up its military alert.
China, the North's neighbor and only powerful ally, said it was confident the North would remain united and that the two countries would maintain their relationship.
"We were distressed to learn of the unfortunate passing of (Kim) ... and we express our grief about this and extend our condolences to the people of North Korea," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
"We are confident the North Korean people will be able to turn their anguish into strength and unify as one," he said.
There was less regret from Western leaders, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying Kim had "violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades." Both he and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said they hoped North Korea's fortunes might now improve.
While his father had 20 years as official heir, Kim Jong-un only became successor by taking on official titles last year, months after Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke around August 2008.
He takes over an economy that has been ravaged by years of mismanagement under Kim Jong-il, who only briefly flirted with economic reform, preferring to stick with central planning and the brutal crushing of any opposition.
Under Kim Jong-il's rule, an estimated 1 million North Koreans died during famine in the 1990s. Even with good harvests, the state cannot feed its 25 million people.
Little is known of Kim Jong-un, who is believed to be in his late 20s and studied briefly at a school in Switzerland.
KCNA said Kim Jong-il died on Saturday after "an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock."
South Korea, still technically at war with the North, placed its troops and all government workers on emergency alert, but said there were no signs of any unusual North Korean troop movements.
The United States said it was committed to stability on the divided Korean peninsula as well as to its allies. Across the heavily armed border, the North maintains an estimated 1 million troops, one of the world's largest standing armies.
Japan, too, said it was watching developments closely.
"We hope this sudden event does not have an adverse effect on the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference after a hastily called ministerial meeting on security.
Fears of what might happen next in North Korea unsettled financial markets, with Asian shares and U.S. index futures falling. South Korean stocks tumbled up to 5 percent, and the U.S. dollar gained. The Korean won fell 1.8 percent.
Kim Jong-un was at the head of a long list of officials making up the funeral committee, indicating he would lead it, and a key sign that he had taken, or been given, charge.
Zhu Feng, Professor of International Relations at Peking University, said it was clear the mechanism for transition was in place and working.
"The issue of primary concern now is not whether North Korea will maintain political stability, but what will be the nature of the new political leadership, and what policies will it pursue at home and abroad.
"In the short-term, there won't be new policies, only a stressing of policy stability and continuity. So soon after Kim Jong-il has died, no leader will dare say that an alternative policy course is needed," Zhu said.
But Chung Young-Tae at the Korea Institute of National Unification said there was "a big possibility that a power struggle may happen."
Kim Jong-il also promoted his sister and her husband, Jang Song-thaek, to important political and military posts, creating a powerful triumvirate.
Jang is seen as effective regent for the younger Kim. He holds a top position in the ruling Worker's Party, providing some balance to the generals who have been seen as more hardline in pushing the North to develop an atomic arsenal.
Earlier this decade, Jang was forced into exile for what is thought to have been conflict over his push for economic reform.
Experts say Kim Jong-un has the intelligence and leadership skills that make him suitable to succeed his father. He is also reported to have a ruthless streak that analysts say he would need to rule North Korea.
North Korea, which tested a nuclear device in 2006 and again in May 2009, is seen as one of the greatest threats to regional security.
Last year, the secretive North unveiled a uranium enrichment facility, giving it a second route to make an atomic bomb along with its plutonium program.
Victor Cha, a Korea expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank in Washington, said communication among China, the United States and South Korea was vital.
"Because these are the three key players when it comes to instability in North Korea. And the Chinese have been reluctant to have any conversations on this," he said. "Now the situation really calls for it."
Kim Jong Il Dead: Top 10 Crazy Facts
Kim Jong Il, North Korea's supreme leader who ruled over one of the poorest countries in the world, died Saturday of heart failure.
The 69-year-old was known for decadent and eccentric tastes and for outlandishly stretching the truth about his personal history and prowess. Here is a look at some of the most famous and controversial facts and fables about Kim Jong Il. Kim the Movie Buff
Kim was a major film buff, and reportedly owned 10,000 to 20,000 DVDs, many of which were Hollywood films. Some of his favorite movies include the 1980s slasher flick "Friday the 13th," the Sylvester Stallone action flick "Rambo" and the Japanese classic "Godzilla."
He was also a major fan of Hong Kong action cinema, according to the Guardian newspaper. And the BBC said he considered Elizabeth Taylor one of his favorite actresses.
Kim the Kidnapper In 1978 famed South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok was kidnapped while investigating the disappearance of his wife, actress Choe Eun-hui, in Hong Kong. The BBC reported that agents took to him Pyongyang where he was kept in a prison for four years and then released to reunite with Choe.
Kim had reportedly ordered the kidnappings to utilize the director and star to revitalize North Korea's film industry.
While held in North Korea, the two released seven films, including "Pulgasari," a giant-creature feature in the vein of "Godzilla." Kim is listed as executive producer on all of his films.
In 2003, Shin told The Guardian: "Even though we criticized some things, he wanted us to be honest. Others would have been killed for speaking so honestly."
Eventually the couple escaped to Vienna. Kim the Decadent Traveler
Though he rarely left his isolated country, Kim reportedly had a fear of flying, so would always travel by private armored train when he would go on state visits to Russia and China. He reportedly died on such a train Saturday.
Konstantin Pulikovsky reported after spending time with Kim on his train that one could "order any dish of Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and French cuisine," and that live lobsters were shipped to the train as Kim trekked Siberia. Meanwhile, an estimated 2 million North Koreans starved to death during the mid-1990s. Kim the Drinker
Kim was a big fan of wine and the cognac Hennessey. The leader had cases of Bordeaux and Burgundy red wines flown from Paris, according to Pulikovsky, and was one of Hennessey's best customers, reportedly spending more than $800,000 on the cognac per year. Kim the Golfer
An avid golfer, Kim reportedly picked up a golf club in 1994 and shot a 38-under par on a regulation 18-hole golf course -- including no fewer than 11 holes in one. This would have put the increasingly frail Kim head and shoulders above the world's best, if the state media reports about Kim's game were to be believed. Kim the Artist
According to Kim's official biography, he composed six operas over two years and also enjoyed staging elaborate musicals.
In 2009, the KCNA news agency reported that Kim had directed a staging of "Yevgeny Onegin," Tchaikovsky's opera of Pushkin's classic novel. Kim reportedly said that it was staged to give the North Korean people a "better understanding of the world culture." 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'
Although Kim was born in Siberia while his father Kim Il-sung was living in exile in the former U.S.S.R, the official North Korean account says that the man referred to as "Dear Leader," "our Father" and "the General" was born in a log cabin on North Korea's highest mountain, Mount Paektu, in February 1942.
Legend goes that the future leader's birth was marked by a double rainbow and a bright star in the sky. Kim the Romancer
Although there are no official documents on his marriages, Kim is believed to have only married once, to Kim Young-sook, the daughter of a high-ranking military official.
It is believed that he had three mistresses: Song Hye-rim, a film actress; Ko Young-hee, a Japanese-born Korean dancer who gave birth to his sons Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-un; and Kim Ok, his personal secretary for decades.
Kim's signature song "No Motherland Without You," with the lyrics "We cannot exist without you, Comrade Kim Jong-il! The motherland cannot exist without you!" repeated, is often piped from loudspeakers in the city of Pyongyang. Kim Goes Hollywood
Kim gained notoriety on the world stage in the early 2000s when North Korea was listed alongside Iraq and Iran as part of the "axis of evil" by the Bush administration.
He gained fame in popular culture, however, as the villain in "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's marionette action-satire "Team America: World Police."
Voiced by Parker, Kim's character was bent on world destruction, but showed a tender side when singing the ballad "I'm So Ronery."
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2011 14:51:16 GMT -5 by artemis
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — With the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong Un went from being North Korea's "Respected General" to "Great Successor" — a heady and uncertain promotion for a young man virtually unknown even to the North Korean people just a year ago.
Word of Kim Jong Il's death, announced Monday two days after he suffered a fatal heart attack, thrusts his 20-something son in the spotlight as the future head of a nation grappling with difficult nuclear negotiations and chronic food shortages.
Within hours of breaking the news of his father's death, state media urged the nation's people to rally around Kim Jong Un and to "faithfully revere" their next leader. The son has not appeared publicly since the announcement of his father's death.
The death speeds up a succession process that began in earnest a little more than a year ago — scant time to gain experience, build political clout and allay skepticism at home and abroad that he can lead a nation of 24 million. His father, by contrast, had 20 years of grooming before his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, passed away in 1994.
News of Kim's death shocked a nation largely kept in the dark about their leader's health even after he suffered a stroke in 2008. Abroad, there was widespread speculation throughout 2009 about who would succeed the iron-fisted ruler.
Kim Jong Un's emergence in September 2010 as the anointed successor settled the question of which of Kim Jong Il's three known sons was chosen as the third-generation leader in a family dynasty that has ruled since North Korea's post-World War II inception in 1948.
And his status as his father's anointed successor has become clear over the course of the past year.
After appointing him vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim Jong Il unveiled the son to the world just weeks later at a massive military parade to celebrate a key party anniversary.
With the world's media in attendance and transmitting live video, the young son appeared on the balcony of the Grand People's Study Hall in a blue suit, waving as tanks loaded with long-range missiles barreled by.
Since that first glimpse of the son, North Koreans have seen him regularly on state TV, in the Pyongyang Times newspaper and in the Korean Central News Agency as he accompanied his father on trips around the country.
Stocky and youthful, he bears more than a passing resemblance to his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, as a young man — a similarity that plays into the emphasis on lineage and legacy as just cause to make him leader.
He began appearing with his father at state events and reportedly ran the country when Kim traveled to Russia and China, and is credited at home with orchestrating a deadly November 2010 artillery attack on a front-line South Korean island that nearly brought the foes to the brink of another war.
Kim Jong Il's leadership was defined by his "songun" policy of putting the powerful military first. Kim Jong Un's formal ascension will usher in a new era of leadership — but it remains to be seen what direction he will take the nation of 24 million people.
"It is impossible to say with certainty what his era will look like. Trying to anticipate the near future is tough enough," said Andray Abrahamian, executive director of the Choson Exchange, a Singapore-based nonprofit group that facilitates educational exchange with North Korea. "We expect greater caution and less willingness to try new things in the near term, making our programs more difficult to run. Things look like they're locking down already."
North Koreans have been told Kim Jong Un graduated from Kim Il Sung Military University; speaks several foreign languages, including English; and is a whiz at computing and technology.
But they have not been told much else.
He is said to celebrate his birthday in January, but the year — or even the name of his mother — have not been revealed publicly. Even his name, though whispered for years, was never published in state media until the announcement in September 2010 that he had been promoted to four-star general.
"There is a rumor that he is married, but officially we don't know," said Yoon Deok-ryong, who specializes in North Korean economic reform at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy in Seoul.
The visits have also provided hints to what areas Kim Jong Un may favor when he formally takes power. Newly opened shops and factories churning out goods using digital technology have been favorite spots for a man said to like computers.
Two songs in vogue in Pyongyang are considered odes to Kim Jong Un: "Footsteps," an obvious reference to his role in carrying out his family's legacy, and "Song of CNC," or Computerized Numerical Control, better known elsewhere as digital technology.
In September, he spent hours at one of Pyongyang's showcase shops, a meat and fish shop on Pothongmun Street that sells whale meat, frozen quail and kielbasa, manager Ri Un Suk told The Associated Press in October.
His visit is proudly displayed on a plaque affixed to the wall, a tradition that until recently was reserved for his father and grandfather.
"He may be the future leader, but he's still a good son to his father," she said. "I was impressed by his loyalty as well as his wisdom."
A year ago, after he made his public debut, he was familiarly referred to as the "Young General."
In recent months, signs and plaques formally acknowledging him as the next leader began appearing with the title "Respected General."
On Monday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency called him the "Great Successor," and urged the people to rally around their next leader.
Kim Jong Un is expected to lean on members of his father's inner circle, including his aunt, Kim Jong Il's sister Kim Kyong Hui; her husband, Jang Song Thaek; and other Kim Jong Il confidants, experts said.
"Even though Kim Jong Un has been appointed as the successor, they may form a committee to rule the country at first," Yoon said. "His power succession is not completed yet."
There are concerns about instability due to his age and inexperience, said Narushige Michish*ta, an expert at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.
But his age may win him backing among the young policymakers of his generation who have developed a taste for cell phones and computers, he said.
"Those people will be running the country in coming decades," Michish*ta said. "So in that sense we can expect some new things, but we don't know if that will result in political transformation."
Kim Jong Un is known to have studied for a few years in Switzerland as a teen and is believed to speak some German and French as well as English, though experts caution against thinking of him as reform-minded just because he lived in the West.
"I wouldn't draw huge conclusions from the fact that he spent a year or two in Europe as a boy," said John Delury, an assistant professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies in South Korea. "But you know, he's significantly younger, and generational shifts happen no matter wherever you are in the world, including North Korea, so he is going to have a different orientation."
Apart from these few tantalizing details, much remains unknown about Jong Un or the real breadth of his power.
"There's much uncertainty," Yoon said. "Because we don't know who's really in charge."
"'He couldn't speak English, didn't pass any exams and was obsessed with basketball and computer games': Kim Jong Un's Swiss school days revealed
He is the heir poised to become the next leader of rogue state North Korea.
But a probe into the school days of Kim Jong Un - youngest son of dictator Kim Jong Il - proves he is little more than an academic failure who squandered his education playing computer games and basketball.
The baby-faced 28-year-old first stepped out of his father's shadow in September last year to appear in public in the capital Pyongyang as thousands of goose-stepping troops marched by to mark the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers Party.
Kim Jong Un looked the part, dressed up in the uniform of a four-star general, and trained in the operation of the torture camps and punishment gulags which fill his blighted land.
But the world will have to see whether his prolonged exposure to the west and its values during his school days in Switzerland have imbued him with any democratic values that might bring his decrepit and starving country back into the international fold after years of isolation.
But the signs are not good. Despite having thousands of pounds lavished on his education at a top private school in Switzerland, he didn't leave with even the equivalent of a single GCSE.
When he was just 15 his father took him out of the costly International School Of Berne, where fees now cost around £16,000 a year. He moved him to a nearby state school to save money but he was quickly put in the lower tier in class.
Wearing Nike trainers, a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt and jeans, he was introduced to Class 6A by the headmistress of Liebefeld-Steinholzi School near Berne. She lied: 'Boys and girls, this is Un Pak. He comes from North Korea and he is the son of a diplomat.'
Kim Jong Un took the empty seat next to Portuguese diplomat's son Joao Micaelo and the pair became friends. Joao, who now works as a chef, said: 'We weren't the dimmest kids in class but neither were we the cleverest. We were always in the second tier.
'Un tried hard to express himself but he was not very good at German and became flustered when asked to give the answers to a problem. The teachers would see him struggling ashamedly and then move on. They left him in peace.
'He left without getting any exam results at all. He was much more interested in football and basketball than lessons.'
A big fan of star Michael Jordan, Kim Jong Un - who was once caught with a bondage pornographic magazine in his school bag - proved to be a good player on the basketball court.
He did shine at maths but nothing else in class, and schoolmates remember that he needed a lot of extra tuition.
One boy who was with him at the International School said: 'It must have been 1993 when he came to the school. His English was bad at first. He had a strong accent and he was given extra lessons.
'He also learned German and was OK in the basics of both - but just OK. His English got better but not his German.
'He was good in maths. That sounds like he was a nerd - but he wasn't. He wasn't so hot in other subjects. I suppose in hindsight we could have nicknamed him Dim Jong-un. One day he just disappeared.'
According to school sources, his father got fed up paying for an education that he thought was going nowhere. But there may have been another reason - his son's taboo love affair with American culture.
The North Korean Embassy in Berne sent back reports on his son's friendships and influences to his father and intelligence chiefs back in North Korea.
Joao said: 'We spent nearly every afternoon with each other. He often invited me back to eat. He had a private chef who cooked whatever he wanted.
'Much of it wasn't to my taste. Lots of chicken in strange sweet-and-sour sauces. He didn't live at the embassy but in a flat in a nice residential area near the school.'
He in fact lived in a large flat at No 10 Kirchstrasse, a sedate suburban street with two pizza cafes, a bank and a Co-Op supermarket.
He added: 'He was surrounded by the best gadgets that the rest of us kids couldn't afford - TVs, video recorder, a Sony PlayStation. He had a cook, a driver, a private teacher.
'But, curiously, I never saw his room. We were mostly in the communal living room. We watched a lot of kung-fu films - especially Jackie Chan movies. He loved them. He had everything which we never saw coming close to our own cinema.
'After school we met at the basketball court and threw a few baskets, with both of us pretending to be Michael Jordan. We were all envious of his genuine NBA basketball, which must have cost more than £100.
'We spoke about girls and about our grand plans. At weekends there were parties and a lot of under-age drinking. But I never once saw a drop of alcohol pass his lips and he wasn't interested in girls.
'He only spoke about his life in the 'homeland' rarely. But I knew he had a certain homesickness. On his stereo he only played North Korean songs. Western music didn't do it for him.
'Most of all he listened to the North Korean national anthem, which we must have heard 1,000 times together. I only knew him in his alibi mode until one Sunday afternoon, shortly before he left for North Korea in 2000.'
'He pulled out a photo of him alongside his father and said 'I am not the ambassador's son. I am the son of the North Korean President.'
One member of staff at the school, identifying himself only as Joerg, said: 'We had these after-school discussion groups. I remember I was outside the school having a smoke when this black, armoured Mercedes with smoked glass pulled up.
'Out stepped 'Un Pak'. He was surrounded by these dwarf ninjas. They scanned the street and then led him up the path.
'That night we talked about the responsibilities of democracy - you know, the right to vote, the right to a common voice, the importance of speaking out.
'He never joined in. He looked down at his shoes all the time and fidgeted, never seemed easy. He was dipping into a bag from Loeb - that's the fanciest delicatessen in Berne, the kind of place where you can spend 100 euros on a couple of salads.
'And at that moment I thought of George Orwell's novel Animal Farm where, truly, some are more equal than others.'
Excerpt from Benjamin Fulford's Dec 26, 2011 newsletter:
North Korea, as always, remains a difficult place to report about because of the cloak of secrecy hanging over the peninsula. However, Japanese right-wing sources, a North Korean agent in Japan and others claim that Kim Jong Il was killed about two years ago by a Swedish prostitute who gave him a stroke-causing poison. Since then, a communal leadership has been ruling while using two Kim Jong Il look-alikes. Both look-alikes have now been killed so the collective leadership decided to go ahead and announce the new regime with Kim Jong Un as its nominal leader.
Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest and lost.
I think so. It seems to me that the "world leaders", the real thing have either been killed off and replaced by imposters, or some of them are living in an underground bunker.
For the purpose of North Korea in the scheme of things, they are supposed to be part of the plan to begin WWIII. My thoughts are, bring in a puppet, or even a clone of the son, and program him to do what they want in using N Korea in the world plan.