A South Korean spy agency has claimed supreme leader Kim has executed at least two people and locked down Pyongyang in a frantic bid to stop coronavirus transmissions. The secretive state has also banned fishing and salt production at sea to prevent seawater from being infected with the virus in bizarre measures unseen anywhere else. The 36-year-old leader recently took centre stage at a massive military parade and public rally in the capital to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.
In what appeared to be a moment of compassion, Kim removed his glasses and wiped away tears as he apologised for his failure to guide the country through tumultuous times exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Contrary to the tyrant seen today, Kim’s childhood was vastly different and he is said to have been brought up in Switzerland where he attended the private International School of Berne and later Schule Liebefeld Steinholzli.
These adolescent years were laid bare by author Anna Fifield in her book ‘The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong-un’ where she spoke to those who claimed to have known Kim well, including how he was scared of girls.
Ms Fifield wrote: “At a time when teenagers are usually pushing boundaries, Kim Jong-un was no party animal or playboy in training.
Kim Jong-un had a vastly different childhood
North Korea recently held a parade
“He didn’t go to school camp, parties, or discos, and he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol.
“Kim Jong-un ‘absolutely avoided contact with girls,’ a former classmate said, adding that she never had a substantial conversation with him.
“She said: ‘He was a loner and didn’t share anything about his private life’.
“His test scores were never great, but Kim Jong-un went on to pass the seventh and eighth grades and was there for a part of the ninth grade at the high school, Koniz education authorities confirmed.”
Ms Fifield went on to reveal how Kim’s education would have been a far cry from his experience in North Korea.
Kim Jong-un’s profile
She added: “The education that Kim received in Switzerland presented a very different worldview to the one he experienced in North Korea.
“Kim Jong-un’s lessons included human rights, women’s rights, and the development of democracy.
“One unit was even called ‘Happiness, Suffering, Life and Death’.
“Students learned about Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi.
“There was a strong emphasis on cultural diversity; religious, ethnic, and social groups, the rights of human beings, and standing in solidarity with the disadvantaged.”
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Kim was said to have kept to himself at school
But the writer explained why Kim may not have raised issue with the lessons.
She added: “It’s hard to know what Kim Jong-un thought during these lessons. No such rights existed in North Korea.
“But this may not have been as jarring to Kim as it sounds because he had encountered very few North Koreans and almost none in situations outside of those that were carefully choreographed to show smiling citizens who beamed contentment at him.
“Kim could have told himself that his people didn’t need all those fine ideals because they were evidently very happy under his father’s leadership.
“Anyway, Kim Jong-un didn’t stay at school for much longer.”
Most analysts agree that Kim Jong-un attended Kim Il-sung University, a leading officer-training school in Pyongyang, from 2002 to 2007.
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The North Korean leader took over from his father
Kim obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University and another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University.
His eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favourite to succeed, but reportedly fell out of favour in 2001, when he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, Kenji Fujimoto, previously claimed Kim Jong-un then became favourite to be his father’s successor over his elder brother.
On January 15, 2009, Kim Jong-il appointed Kim Jong-un to be his successor before he died two years later.
‘The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong-un’ is published by John Murray and available to purchase here.