North Korea’s leader celebrates a birthday

North Korea’s leader celebrates a birthday

On Sunday, North Korea’s dear leader, Kim Jong Un, will celebrate his 33rd birthday. Mr Kim boasts a litany of

Photo: KCNA/Reuters

Photo: KCNA/Reuters

On Sunday, North Korea’s dear leader, Kim Jong Un, will celebrate his 33rd birthday. Mr Kim boasts a litany of exaggerated claims, from learning to drive at the age of 3 to climbing North Korea’s 2,700 metre Mount Paektu in a suit.

To mark the beginning of 2017, the Hermit Kingdom claimed it was finalising plans to conduct an intercontinental ballistic missile test. The North Korean leadership will be looking to exploit the political flux in South Korea after President Park’s impeachment and uncertainty around the US political transition.

Despite repeated criticism from the UN and the ratcheting up of actions, the political rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang hasn’t wavered over the past 20 years. During Kim’s birthday last year, North Korea claimed it had tested a powerful hydrogen nuclear weapon. That came as a surprise to its long-time ally China, leading to questions as to whether North Korea has acquired a more advanced nuclear capability than previously known.

Amidst the shroud of secrecy, the only certainty is that the glorification of the Kim family will endure. Happy birthday, Kim Jong Un.