The Day of the Sun, April 15, is a national holiday in North Korea in honor of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-Sung. So when his grandson and “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-Un were away for public celebrations, people spoke naturally. Is he alive? Is he dead? Given the lack of independent media in North Korea, it is still difficult to confirm rumors from Pyongyang.
At the risk of making formidable enemies, here is a list of 10 of the best rumors about “Marshal” Kim Jong-Un.
10 His Haircut Is Mandatory
In 2014, Radio Free Asia reported that North Korean male university students had to have Kim’s hair cut. Kim’s cut is a military-style that involves shaved sides, along top, and a central part. It’s not really a cutting-edge style.
According to reports, the mandate has divided opinion, with some people calling the hairstyle a “Chinese smuggler’s haircut”. It is not certain that there has ever been a warrant, as visitors do not notice any movement towards this hairstyle, although North Korean television has already launched a campaign against long hair. More recently, the authorities have reportedly cracked down on “non-socialist behaviors” such as unassed hairstyles, limiting men to 10 styles and women to 18.
9 The CIA Hired A North Korean Lumberjack To Kill Kim
The North Korean government claimed in May 2014 that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) collaborated to hire a Russian-based North Korean lumberjack in a biochemical plot to assassinate Kim. The method used would be a “biochemical” or a radioactive and nano-toxic weapon. Apparently, it would have taken a few months to kill Kim.
North Korea’s state news agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), did not cite any evidence but wrote a 1,800-word report alleging that a “hideous terrorist group” had conspired to target the supreme leadership during a military parade. The international media have never been able to verify this report, but it should be noted that it occurred at a time of high tension between countries. The furious North Korean authorities have said they will seek the extradition of anyone involved in the foiled plot. A person identified only as “Kim” who worked in the timber industry in Khabarovsk, Far Eastern Russia, was the only suspect publicly named, albeit vaguely.
8 The Kippumjo or ‘Pleasure Squad’
There would be a group of about 2,000 women who are being cared for to provide entertainment and pleasures, often sexual, to senior officials of the Korean Labour Party and distinguished guests. This group is called the Kippumjo, or the Pleasure Squad, the Pleasure Brigade, or the Joy Division.
It is now believed that the group was dissolved after Kim Jong-Il’s death, but in 2015 it was reported that Kim Jong-Un was recruiting new members as early as the age of 13 or 14. It is understood that Kim’s train is composed of Kippumjo who are certified virgins. Apparently, many of these women are “retired” in their twenties and have married army officers.
It should be noted that Kim is married to former singer Ri Sol-Ju and has three children, although this is not even verified.
7 NBA Obsession
Kim’s unlikely friendship with former NBA star Dennis Rodman stems from her love of basketball. While studying in Switzerland, he developed his obsession with baskets, becoming fascinated by Michael Jordan. A former friend of his Swiss school said Kim’s room was covered in NBA paraphernalia. He showed pictures with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoc after being taken to Paris for an exhibition match as a child.
It is not clear who Kim officially supports, but he has an affection for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Rodman traveled to North Korea in 2013 with three Harlem Globetrotters at Kim’s invitation. Other basketball players have also toured the country.
In 2019, he reportedly asked U.S. President Donald Trump to give access to “famous basketball players” as part of the nuclear weapons negotiations. It’s a family affair, since Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, had already asked to meet Jordan during his reign, although the six-time NBA champion declined the invitation.
He is obviously fascinated by the sport, but whether he was good at it is another question.
6 He Blew Up A South Korean Warship
In 2010, before Kim took over from his father, he was allegedly involved in the sinking of the South Korean warship ROKS Cheonan carrying 104 people near the maritime border of the two countries. Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the unselected international incident, which was allegedly designed to help Kim obtain his military credentials before his succession.
International experts investigated the incident and discovered that the warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo. North Korea has denied responsibility and even offered to assist in the investigation, but South Korea has imposed sanctions preventing economic relations. Both China and Russia have rejected South Korea’s demands. A Russian investigation then suggested that the sinking was more likely due to the dredging of a mine by the corvette warship. To this day, no one agrees on the reasons for the sinking of the Cheonan.
5 The Compassionate Side?
Despite all the talk about the “crazy dictator”, there would be a human side to Kim who has improved North Korea’s international relations since coming to power. He is said to have shown compassion in 2014 when a 23-story building in Pyongyang collapsed, killing more than 100 people. According to the KCNA, “the construction of an apartment building was not done properly and officials supervised and irresponsibly monitored it.”
Kim then issued a rare public apology for the “unimaginable” tragedy. According to reports, Kim was so injured that he “stayed up all night, feeling sore after being informed of the accident.” Skeptics will point out that it took the state media five days to report on the story. No figures have ever been released regarding the number of victims.
4 The Secret Hangover Cure
Like her father, Kim would like to party. He is also known for his extravagant tastes. His favourite beverages are Johnny Walker whisky and Hennessy gin. He is also known for drinking cognac on luxury yachts. In fact, since taking over North Korea, imports of wine and other spirits have increased.
However, his nightly drinking sessions would have led him to import sauna equipment from Finland and Germany in order to relieve his hangover and fatigue, and thus to sweat from the sins of the previous night. The jury has not yet decided whether saunas are really useful for treating a hangover.
It’s clear that the next morning’s headache was a problem for Kim, since North Korean scientists claimed in 2016 to have created a revolutionary hangover drink. Apparently, the “Koryo Liquor” blends six-year-old ginseng with burnt rice, which eliminates sugar.
3 He’s Executed Members Of His Family
No one is safe in North Korea! Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, was arrested for treason in December 2013 and described as a “traitor” in a military court. He was then executed by a firing squad. Kim is believed to have tried to erase Jang from the story by then suppressing thousands of press articles about him, but also by executing family members, including children and grandchildren of close relatives.
Despite the propagandists’ efforts to whitewash Jang from history, a few years later, Jang’s image appeared in the state media in the form of a photograph during an hour-long documentary about 11 North Korean historical figures. The documentary’s editor may have been jailed for the error.
Kim’s half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam, was also killed in 2017. Malaysian authorities say he was murdered at a busy terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2017 when two women approached him and smeared him with a chemical agent. Kim told an airport receptionist that “someone grabbed him from behind and sprayed his face with a liquid,” before later dying while being transferred to the hospital.
2 The Luxury Private Island
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman forged a strange friendship with the “Great Successor” and visited North Korea in 2013. Later, Rodman referred to Kim’s private island as “like Hawaii or Ibiza, but he’s the only one living there.” Since then, we’ve all been intrigued? The location of the mysterious island, which has its own marina and bays with armed troops 24 hours a day, has never been verified but is thought to be close to Wonson Harbour.
Rodman added that the island was like a “seven-star party” with endless cocktails and jet skis. He also revealed that to get to the island, he had boarded Kim’s 95-foot yacht, which was a “cross between a ferry and a Disney boat”
1 The Flame-Thrower Execution
As in a scene from “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Kim reportedly ordered the execution of a deputy security minister by a flamethrower as part of a political purge in 2014. O Sang-Hon was a key figure in the North Korean government’s Ministry of People’s Security, but he was seen as supporting Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, who had earlier been executed for treason. O is believed to have made the ministry Jang’s personal protection team.
North Korean defector Kang Chol-Hwan said: “Kim Jong-Un personally hated him, so he personally ordered that he be executed by a flamethrower.” To illustrate Hollywood stereotypes, it is believed that the man’s lifeless body was also crushed under a tank.
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