Tags: Kim Jong un north korea

The Phantom Leader: Kim Jong-un a Mystery

Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010 10:20 AM


His grandfather is known as the Great Leader, his father as the Dear Leader. It seems only fair to confer a similar accolade on North Korea's dictator-in-waiting: the Phantom Leader, perhaps.

According to London's Guardian, as the party that has ruled the secretive state for more than six decades prepares to anoint Kim Jong-un as its next leader at a rare gathering of cadres in the capital, Pyongyang, the world is still some way off establishing the facts about communism's crown prince.

So little is known about Kim Jong-un, the third and youngest son of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, that even the characters used to write his name and his date of birth are disputed. Aged 27 or 28, he was born to his father's "favourite consort," Ko Young-hee, a Japanese-born dancer who emigrated with her father in the 1960s. Shortly before her reported death from breast cancer in 2004, the state media began referring to her as the Respected Mother, confirming the theory that she is the closest the country has ever come to a first lady.

Read the entire story at guardian.co.uk


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