Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
Kim is thought to have been born in 1983 or early 1984. North Korean officials currently gave his date of birth as 8 January 1984.
He attended the English-language International School of Berne, Switzerland until 1998 under a pseudonym. Former classmates have asserted that he attended Gümlingen International School or Liebefeld public school. His pseudonym at Gümlingen was "Pak Chol" and he pretended to be the son of a driver, although in Liebefeld, the teacher told the class that he was from North Korea. An older student chaperoned him all the time. In Liebefeld, he told his friend Joao Micaelo that he was the son of the heir to the North Korea leader, though Micaelo said he didn't believe him at the time. He was described as a shy child who was uncommunicative with unfamiliar people and was only distinguished for his competitive nature, particularly in sports, and a fascination with the NBA and Michael Jordan. Allegedly, one friend claimed that he had met and even had pictures taken with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoc, but was unsure where. He reportedly stayed in Switzerland until late 1999 or early 2000 when former classmates claimed he "disappeared." The ambassador of North Korea in Switzerland, Ri Tcheul, had a close relationship with him and acted as a mentor while there. Switzerland has always stayed neutral in the conflict between North and South Korea. The Kim clan is said to organise family meetings at Lake Geneva and Interlaken.
For many years, only one confirmed photograph of him was known outside North Korea, apparently taken in the mid-1990s, when he was eleven. Occasional other supposed images of him surfaced but were often disputed. It was only in June 2010, shortly before he was given official posts and publicly introduced to the North Korean people, that more pictures were released of Kim, taken when he was attending school in Switzerland. The first official image of him as an adult was a group photograph released on 30 September 2010 at the end of the party conference that effectively anointed him, in which he is seated in the front row, two places from his father. This was followed by newsreel footage of him attending the conference.
This guy is rather worldly... which means he may see things differently.
Though I am not sure if N. Korea is willing to lose its danger image, as that does give it some power.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."