North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wins award for ‘global statesmanship’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) gives guidance during his visit to the newly-built Pyongyang Home for the Aged in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 2, 2015. (Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been awarded a prize for “global statesmanship” by an Indonesian institute, his first accolade from an institute outside of the hermit communist state.

The award was given on the basis of Kim’s fight against “neocolonialism and imperialism,” by the Bali-based Suharno Center, which takes its name from Indonesia’s founding president. Previous recipients of the award include Aung San Suu Kyi and Mahatma Gandhi.

“We will give the award to President [sic] Kim Jong Un because he has been consistent in carrying out the ideals of the great leader, Kim Il Sung, which is to fight imperialism,” the Jakarta Globe local paper reported Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, one of Suharno’s daughters, saying in the award’s announcement.

Kim Jong-un, is the grandson of North Korea’s founder, Kim II Sung, and took over after his father Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack in 2011.

Despite being hailed for the center for “global statesmanship,” Kim Jong-un - who at 32 is the world’s youngest head of state - has not been on a single known trip outside his country since he took power in 2011. While Russia invited him to visit Moscow earlier this year, he later cancelled.

Rachmawati said that the award had previously been given to Kim Il-Sung, whom she called a hero of independence and peace.

“So this will be a sequel, where we give the award to Kim Jong-un for his persistence in fighting neocolonialism,” she said.

Kim Jong-un is ranked 49th on the U.S.-based Forbes magazine’s list of most powerful people, two places ahead of Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi, and five places ahead of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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