Washington Babylon — June 3, 2009, 12:53 pm

Kim Jong-il’s Son: Cheese scholar, peacemaker (on the playground)

From the BBC:

So little is known about Kim Jong-un – the youngest son and reportedly the named successor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il – that even his date of birth is uncertain: no-one is really sure whether he was born in 1983 or 1984.

But it is known that the third Kim, like his two elder brothers, was sent to school in Switzerland. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports on the young Kim’s school days, and the unusually close relationship between Switzerland and North Korea. Kim Jong-un attended Berne’s international school, where, it is rumoured, he joined school skiing outings, and was something of a peacemaker in playground disputes…

North Korean agricultural specialists regularly spend time here studying the Swiss art of making cheese and yoghurt, which Kim Jong-il is said to love.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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