Kim Jong Un, Poised To Become North Korea Leader, Remains An Enigma

Kim Jong Un, the son and future successor of North Korean ruler Kim Jong II, continues to remain an enigma both at home and abroad.

Kim Jong Un, the son and future successor of North Korean ruler Kim Jong II, continues to remain an enigma both at home and abroad.
 
The four-star general is widely credited in North Korea with enacting a fiercesome artillery attack on a front-line South Korean island that nearly caused another war between both sides, AP reports.

He accompanies his father regularly on inspection trips to farms and factories — visits now commemorated with plaques inscribed with his name.

Officials even say Jong Un has been entrusted with full leadership of the country while his father has made extended trips to China and Russia over the last year.

The inner workings of North Korea’s political leadership are unfathomable due to the tight rein on information, both to North Koreans and to the wider world, reports AP.

Dissent and opposition will result in forced labor or execution, according to human rights groups and the U.S. State Department.

Nevertheless, Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University in South Korea, says North Korea has established a cult of personality surrounding Jong Un.

He said a biography and other top government and political posts can be expected over the coming months.

“He is now performing the role of successor,” Yoo said Monday. “He has virtually cemented his status as the next leader,” AP reports.

Jong Un was unveiled to the world a year ago at a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party. The Jong family dynasty has been in power since North Korea’s post-World War II creation in 1948. Despite the tireless political campaign to install Jong Un as the future leader in the people’s minds, he remains an enigma. His purported feats are unsubstantiated, and in South Korea, speculation abounds about rumored measures exacted to ensure loyalty to the future leader, reports AP. North Koreans are told he graduated from Kim Il Sung Military University, speaks several foreign languages, including English, and is adept at computing and technology. However, his exact date of birth, his marital status and even the name of his mother — said to be Kim Jong Il’s late second wife, Ko Yong Hui — have never been made public.
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