03/16/2010, 00.00
NORTH KOREA
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Pyongyang is preparing the first portrait of the "Third Kim"

On April 15 celebrations for the birth of Kim Il-sung, "eternal president" of North Korea. For the occasion, the portrait of Kim Jong-un, third child and heir apparent of Kim Jong-il will be exposed in public.

Pyongyang (AsiaNews) - In less than a month, North Korea and the world we finally will see the face of Kim Jong-un, third son and heir of the dictator Kim Jong-il. The official portrait of the Dauphin will in fact be displayed alongside those of his father and grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on 15 April:   a national holiday that marks the birth of the founder of the nation.

Yeonghwa Lee, professor of economics at Japan's Osaka University and expert on North Korean affairs announced the event in a lengthy interview yesterday morning in the Yomiuri Shimbun, the most popular Japanese newspaper. Japan and South Korea, given the geographical proximity to the last totalitarian dictatorship in Asia, follow the events in the country very closely.

Lee claims to have learned of the preparations underway from a North Korean collaborator, according to whom the Workers 'Party of the North "is preparing all the necessary measures to make the portrait of Kim Jong-un, the 26-27 year old third son of the ‘Dear Leader' and the chosen - according to Western intelligence services - as successor as head of the communist state.

There is much expectation for the next president of North Korea: According to his fellow citizens, he is "crueller than his father”, despite having been educated in the West. Kim Jong-un’s only picture dates to the time of his studies in Switzerland, when he was little more than a teenager. On the occasion of the celebrations for the "eternal president", the portraits of three generations, according to Lee, "will be displayed next to one another."

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