Poor fools who think that teenagers are fat, mysterious, basketball and junk food are spend four years incognito at a luxury school in Switzerland will reform North Korea when he takes command in 2011.
Kim Jong Un, 38, turns out to be a tyrannical dictator like his father and grandfather – and he is still mysterious. He reported appeared alive Friday after weeks of speculation that he was dead or in a coma. But he keeps the world guessing – like he did when he was little, studying under a false name in the suburbs of Bern, Switzerland.
Kim was sent to Switzerland – where an older brother had studied – around the age of 12 in 1996 during a famine in North Korea that killed up to 3 million people. He was left in the care of an aunt who disguised himself as his mother and later defected to the US, where he runs a laundry in Manhattan.
His classmate at the Liebefeld-Steinhölzli school in Bern in 1998, Joao Micaelo, described him as a quiet child who could be temperamental and obsessed with basketball, especially Michael Jordan. He also liked the film Jean-Claude Van Damme.
“He is silent but he also decides,” said Micaelo. He went by the name “Pak Chol” and the teacher was told that he was the son of a North Korean diplomat.
Kim is so crazy about basketball that sometimes she sleeps with the one next to her bed, her aunt said. He wore NBA jerseys, had a large collection of expensive Nike shoes and wore good sports clothes, never jeans, because jeans were a sign of hated capitalism.
He hung out with his classmates, even though he struggled with the Swiss-German dialect used in Bern and could sometimes be “very competitive” on the basketball court, said another former classmate, Marco Imhof.
Kim’s teacher at Liebefeld’s school, Michel Riesen, remembers Kim as a kind 14-year-old girl with a good sense of humor. Riesen said she often walked to school from the humble home she had live with his aunt and other family members not far from the North Korean embassy.
“If I look back, I see a friendly and gentle Asian boy,” Riesen told NBC News in 2018. “A teenager from next door.” Riesen said Kim was a good student but “not extraordinary.”
And make no mistake, said Riesen. Kim’s foreign school gave him a good understanding of Western values - regardless of whether he cared or not.
“Democracy is part of our existence here in Switzerland,” Riesen said. “So surely he is in contact with democracy.”
Micaelo said Kim had claimed he was the son of the leader of North Korea. His former classmate did not believe until his old friend emerged as the Great Leader, the third in an autocratic succession driven by a strange personality cult, in 2011.
Kim studied abroad and spent family holidays skiing in the French Alps, going to EuroDisney in Paris, and swimming on the French Riviera, but this international experience did not translate into political enlightenment or empathy for his citizens at home when he took over after his father’s death. You could say all he did was inspire Kim to build an amusement park and ski resorts that usually sit empty while the people of North Korea used to struggle to find enough food.
North Korean-born Jason Lee, who was one year younger than Kim and defected to South Korea and then the US in 2014, said that much of it was made from a four-year Swiss stopover that seemed random from Kim – but that was typical for someone from the inside of Korea Small North. high-ranking family circle.
“We all speak many languages and many children from elite families often travel and live abroad when they can,” Lee, who now lives in Washington, DC, told The Post. “Nobody can access the Internet in this country but they can when they leave. They know education is fake, Kim’s family mythology is fake. But they cannot oppose it. Their whole family will be punished. They call it the three generation rule. “
Kim has the same problem. Even if he wants to reform a country where many are starving and even the homes of political elites rarely have more than an hour of electricity a day, he cannot.
“He is an expert in managing the country but he is also trapped by the state and mythology,” Jung H. Pak, a former CIA analyst and author of a new book, “Become Jong Un, “The Post said.
“He inherited nuclear, repressive bureaucracy, gulag and fear and there is no way to avoid it. If he wants to survive, he must continue his brutality. There is no other way for him.”
Not to say that sir thinks it’s hard for Kim to throw away his 300-lb. weight of about and kill and torture friends and close relatives. His aunt’s defector, who is believed to live in northern New Jersey, once remembered that he was “angry” and lacked “tolerance” when he was a child
“I would not say he was a sociopath,” said Pak. “But he has a high tolerance for other people’s pain. It was brutal how he killed his uncle and brother. It is public, terrible and shameful. And make no mistake. He does that for people outside the regime but especially for people inside the regime. He wanted to tell them in no uncertain terms who the boss was. “
Some North Korean experts say there is a strategic reason that Kim looks very fat. Because of the cold, hunger and hunger often suffered by North Koreans, an overweight person indicates health, wealth, and power.
Children who lived through famine in the 90s are now soldiers in the Labor Party. Their growth is so hampered by hunger that some barely grow above five feet. There are reports that the minimum height requirement for a soldier is 4’8 “or 4’9”. Kim is 5-7 years old and his grandfather, who founded the country in 1948 and ruled in 1994, aged 5’10 “, is very high for a North Korean.
“Physically Kim is trying to look like her grandfather,” Cha said. “He was fat and smoked all the time and was cheerful outside, like Kim. He looks strong and healthy, that’s what they think a leader should look like. “
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