Kim Jong-Il's successor is his youngest son, Kim Jong-un. It's time to meet the most powerful twenty-something in the world: an enigmatic basketball fanatic and four-star general with a bad case of fat cheeks and an itchy trigger finger.
In some ways, Kim Jong-un is just your normal millenial: After a stint away at school in 1998, he moved back home with his parents. Although in Kim's case the school was a Swiss boarding school, and his time back home was spent studying at North Korea's premier military academy and being groomed to succeed his father. Kim Jong-il apparently chose Kim Jong-un to succeed him over his two older brothers because they're seen as too soft and irresponsible to lead.
He's a Mystery
Unlike most people his age (including his nephew) Kim Jong-un is definitely not on Facebook. Kim has been kept so tightly under wraps—he was enrolled at his Swiss boarding school under a fake identity—that the world didn't really know what he looked like until he was "unveiled" at a military parade last year, a newly-minted four star general.
He's got Hobbies
Kim Jong-Un likes to the pass the time playing basketball and video games, and launching sudden military strikes against South Korea. It's thought that Kim Jong-un coordinated the bombardment of a South Korean island and the sinking of a South Korean warship last year to prove his military prowess and cement his role as the Great Successor. But he's not all business: Former classmates told the Washington Post Kim was obsessed with basketball, had a stash of expensive Nikes and "spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan." His taste for consumer goods has survived: Last year, a train full of televisions and watches thought to be gifts for Kim was derailed on its way way from China.
This according to a former cook of Kim Jong-Il's who goes by the name Kenji Fujimoto:
Dressed in a military outfit, the young Jong-Un "glared at me with a menacing look when we shook hands" the first time they met, Fujimoto wrote in Kim Jong-Il's Chef. ''I can never forget the look in his eyes which seemed to be saying, 'This one is a despicable Japanese.'"
Kim Jong-un, like his father, is a serious chubster. Maybe he bulked up like Robert De Niro in Raging Bull to look more like his fat grandfather, North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung, whom he's reportedly purposely styling himself after right down to the flat-top hairstyle. Or maybe it's some unspoken rule among North Korea's regimes that all its leaders have to be exceptionally rotund, to underscore the the millions of its citizens who have starved in famines.
[Images via AP]