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Kim Jung-who? Ten facts – or rumors - about North Korea’s new leader

Published time: December 19, 2011 18:09
Edited time: December 20, 2011 19:55
Kim Jung-Un (AFP Photo / KCNA VIA KNS)

Kim Jung-Un (AFP Photo / KCNA VIA KNS)

With the youngest son of the late "Supreme Leader" of North Korea set to take the reins of the world’s most secretive state, little is known about a man who has been described as an out-of-shape heavy drinker who is the spitting image of his father.

­1. No one knows exactly how old Kim Jung-un is, though North Korean officials give his official birth date as January 8, 1984.

2.  Prior to 2010, only one grainy black-and-white photograph of the younger Kim existed outside North Korea. 

3.  He is believed to have attended the International School of Berne in Switzerland until 1998 under an assumed name. 

4.  Classmates said he was an avid lover of skiing, basketball and James Bond. 

5.  According to an anonymous high-ranking North Korean source, once Kim got older and put on weight, he started playing 15-ball pool instead of basketball, the Seoul-based North Korea Strategy Information Service reports. 

“The game of pool has become increasingly popular among North Koreans in the past five years, in large part thanks to Kim Jung-un being an avid player. He even installed four Chinese brand-name pool tables in his grand mansion,” the source said. 

6 .Reports in South Korea have described him as gung-ho and determined. There have been accounts of his fiercely competitive streak when playing basketball with his middle brother, who was cruelly dismissed by his father after one lengthy drinking session as being too "girlish" to lead, says Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese sushi chef who claims to have been a drinking buddy of North Korea's "Dear Leader," The Telegraph reports. 

7. There is speculation that like his father, Kim Jung-un is also a heavy drinker who suffers from diabetes.

8.  On January 15 2009, Kim Jong-il reportedly appointed Kim Jung-un as his successor. These rumors were apparently confirmed a year later when Jung-un turned 27 in 2010, when all of North Korea celebrated his birthday as a national holiday.

9.  In 2010, Kim Jung-un was officially introduced to the Korean people, when it was announced via state media that he had been appointed a four-star general in September of that year. 

10. On Monday, North Korea’s ruling Workers' Party appointed Kim Jung-un as the “Great Successor,” though it is yet to be seen just how much power he will really have.