Kim Jong-un’s name has been popping up again and again in the press as stories about him and his family’s strange lives emerge. Kim himself reportedly spends $30 million a year on one bad habit while his sister has been dubbed the ‘most dangerous woman in the world’. Another rumour that has circulated about the North Korean leader concerns his face: has he had plastic surgery?
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Kim Jong-un is known to be both a brutal and paranoid leader, but he is also very dedicated to ruling his people and remaining in power. Earlier this year, Shenzhen TV reported last week that a diplomatic source had been told by a North Korean official that Kim had surgery six times. The reported reason? To look more like his grandfather, Kim Il Sung.
Who is Kim Il Sung?
The Kim family have ruled over North Korea for over seventy years. Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, was the first of the family to come into power. Since then, the Kim dynasty has ruled with an iron fist.
Kim Jong-un has long been known to adopt his grandfather’s look and mannerisms, presumably in the hope that he will successfully continue the Kim dynasty. The Guardian’s Lizzie Tucker wrote in 2014:
From his laugh to his hairstyle, Kim Jong-un has been emulating his late grandfather Kim Il-sung in an apparent attempt to project ‘power and gravitas’.
North Korea denies the claims
The reports that Kim Jong-un had had surgery quickly spread amongst South Korea news outlets at the time.
North Korea denied that Kim had undergone any face alterations. KNCA, the North Korean state news, issued a long article rejecting the claims and said:
It is extremely regretful that media of neighboring countries are playing into the hands of waiting maids for politicians.
Chinese media was then ordered to not ‘report, comment on, or redistribute stories about the personal lives of North Korean leaders (such as face-lifts)’, according to Business Insider.
Considering that the North Korean leader has been rumoured to execute a man in a fish tank of piranhas, this doesn’t not seem like such a serious accusation. However, North Korea took it very seriously, and as there is no proof it remains unknown whether the face we see is the one Kim Jong-un was born with.
Business Insider: North Korea Flips Out About Chinese Report That Kim Jong-un Got Plastic Surgery
New York Post: The craziest and most outrageous Kim Jong Un facts and rumors
ChosunMedia: Xinhua Scotches Reports of Kim Jong-un's Plastic Surgery
The Guardian: Like grandfather, like grandson: North Korea's doppelganger leaders – in pictures