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Sunday, April 15, 2018

The unknown facets of Kim Jong-un

Por Sofía

Friends of the childhood of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have revealed various anecdotes and characteristics of the North Korean leader that show a particular facet that all we did ignore. Through several interviews with different media, the friends he had during his stay in Switzerland while studying, reveal curiosities of the past of the implacable Kim.

Kim, who is currently 34 years old, attended Liebefeld International School in Bern (Switzerland) from 1998 to 2000 with a false identity. He was known as Pak Un, son of a worker from the embassy of North Korea. After almost 20 years, João Micaelo, former schoolmate of Kim, said in an interview to Daily Beast that he remembers him with affection and assures that he was "a good guy", and he also describes him as a child with a good sense of humor and obsessed with basketball, especially by the Chicago Bulls team and its star, Michael Jordan. "He had an enviable collection of Nike sneakers and, at only 1.70 meters tall and a little overweight, he was a good basketball player," said the Portuguese, who stressed his desire to see him again to "catch up".

Marco Imhof, a Swiss who also knew at this time the North Korean leader said that he was always "funny" and that he used to make others laugh. However, "he hated to lose"; for him, "winning was very important". Another former partner told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Kim "got along well with everyone, including those students who came from countries that were enemies of North Korea." However, he stressed that the policy was considered a "taboo" in the institution and that is why both spoke of football. This was probably the reason why until that moment the positions and perspectives Kim had in mind were unknown.

In 2016, Kim's aunt, Ko Yong-suk, attended him while studying in the European country as a teenager and revealed that he was a nervous young man who created problems. "When his mother asked him to stop playing video games or study, he did not argue, but protested by declaring himself on a hunger strike," he says. He adds that the young man who would come to lead North Korea was passionate about basketball, coinciding with his former teammates, boats, and planes.