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North Korea

Kim Jong Un

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Early years

Alleged pictures of Kim Jong Un in his youth appeared in the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo on June 16, 2009. Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of Kim Jong Il, became the leader of North Korea after his father's death in December 2011. Kim Jong Un's age is unverified but he is believed to be the youngest head of state in the world. He is the third member of his family to rule the unpredictable and reclusive communist state.

Afp / AFP
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il walks in front of his youngest son Kim Jong-un as they watch a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang

Next in line

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, walks in front of his youngest son Kim Jong Un as they watch a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang on Oct. 10, 2010.

Kyodo / X01481
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Image: North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un cries as his father, North Korea's late leader Kim Jong-il, lies in state in this still image taken from video

Mourning his father

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un cries as his father, North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il, lies in state during the run-up to his funeral in Pyongyang on Dec. 27, 2011, in this image captured from video.

Reuters Tv / X00514
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Standing behind their leader

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (front row, center) poses with soldiers of the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army on Jan. 1, 2012, at an undisclosed location in North Korea. This image was released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

Kcna / AFP
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Image: North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un visits the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang

Culinary display

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un visits the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang in this picture released by the state's official news agency on Jan. 1, 2012. North Korea called on its people to rally behind their new leader and protect him as "human shields" while working to solve the "burning issue" of food shortages by upholding the policies of his late father, Kim Jong Il.

Kcna / X02538
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Image: New leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un rides a horse in this undated still image taken from video at an unknown location

New hero

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides a horse in this undated still image taken from video released by North Korean state television on Jan. 8, 2012. North Korea's state television broadcast a new documentary of its supreme commander Kim Jong Un on his birthday, seen as an effort to idolize the young and untested leader.

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Image: File photo of North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in North Korea

Military might

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un inspects an armored vehicle in this undated still image taken from video released by North Korean state television on Jan. 8, 2012. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was named marshal of the country's army, completing his control over the state and military, North Korean media reported on July 18, 2012.

Krt / X01596
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un aims a rifle at the Sporting Bullet Factory

Taking aim

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un aims a rifle at the Sporting Bullet Factory in this undated picture released by the state news agency on Feb. 23, 2012.

Kcna / X02538
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his wife, who was named by the state broadcaster as Ri Sol-ju, visit the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground, in Pyongyang

Newlyweds

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, visit the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang in this undated picture released by the state news agency on July 25, 2012. North Korea's new young leader is married, state media said on July 25, putting an end to speculation over the relationship with a woman seen at his side during recent events.

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Image: Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju

Reaching out

Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wif, Ri Sol Ju, touches a display as they inspect the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang on July 25, 2012.

KCNA via KNS
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Image: N. Korean leader's wife

Thrillseeker

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second row at right, enjoys a ride at the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang in this image taken from the website of the state news agency on July 26, 2012. Kim and his wife attended a ceremony to mark the completion of the amusement park on July 25.

Kcna / KCNA / YONHAP
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Image: File photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waves as he visits military units on islands in the most southwest of Pyongyang

Young leader

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves as he visits military units on islands southwest of Pyongyang in this undated picture released by the state news agency on Aug. 19, 2012.

Kcna / X02538
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Image: NKOREA-POLITICS-KIM

A family's new home

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Jol Ju chat with family members of Pak Sung-Il , second from right, a worker from the City Beautification Office in the Central District in Pyongyang, in this image released by the state news agency on Sept. 5, 2012. The family had recently moved into a new apartment on Changjon Street in Pyongyang and the first couple toured the new building, visiting with several families.

AFP
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits Thrice Three-Revolution Red Flag Kamnamu Company under in Pyongyang

The adoration of the people

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Thrice Three-Revolution Red Flag Kamnamu (persimmon tree) Company under the Korean People's Army Unit 4302 in this undated picture released by state news agency in Pyongyang on Aug. 24, 2012.

Kcna / X02538
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county

Taking notes

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan County, where the North launched the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket carrying the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, in this picture released by the state news agency on Dec. 15, 2012. The launch allowed North Korea to put a satellite in space for the first time.

With successful launch, Kim and allies cement rule in North Korea

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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un smokes a cigarette at the General Satellite Control and Command Center in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang

Smoke break

Kim Jong Un smokes a cigarette at the General Satellite Control and Command Center after the launch of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on Dec. 12, 2012.

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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends the inaugural ceremony of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang

A year later

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the inaugural ceremony of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on the first anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death on Dec. 17, 2012.

Kyodo / X01481
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Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang

American visitor

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Feb. 28, in this photo courtesy of VICE. Rodman departed the country on March 1, calling Kim an "awesome guy." He drank and dined on sushi with the authoritarian leader after watching the basketball game.

Handout / X80001
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Image: Kim Jong Un

Looking south

Kim Jong Un uses binoculars to look at South Korean territory from an observation post on Jangjae islet in the southwestern sector of North Korea's border with South Korea on March 7, 2013.

KCNA VIA KNS
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Image: Kim Jong Un

Crowded boat

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at military officers after inspecting the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment, near the western sea border with South Korea on March 11, 2013.

KCNA VIA KNS
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Image: North Korea defense inspection

Hero's welcome

Troops react as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (not pictured) inspects the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment and Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment in the southwestern sector of North Korea in a photo released on March 8, 2013, by North Korea's official news agency.

Kcna / KCNA
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Image: North Korea convenes first military security meeting in 20 years

Powerful gaze

Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of military security personnel in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Nov. 20, 2013, in this picture released by the North's ruling Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun. It was the first meeting of its kind in 20 years, spawning speculations that the North is trying to shield the military from capitalist and anti-regime influences, and solidify internal discipline.

Rodong Sinmun / YONHAP / Rodong Sinmun
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Image: File photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, right, with his uncle Jang Song-thaek in Pyongyang

Before the purge

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walks past his uncle, North Korean politician Jang Song Thaek, during a military parade in Pyongyang on Feb. 16, 2012. North Korea said Dec. 13, 2013, that it executed Jang as a traitor for trying to seize supreme power, a stunning end for the leader's former mentor, long considered the country's No. 2. In a sharp reversal of the popular image of Jang Song Thaek as a kindly uncle guiding young leader Kim Jong Un as he consolidated power, the North's official Korean Central News Agency indicated that Jang instead saw the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011 as an opportunity to challenge his nephew and win power.

Kyodo / X01481
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Image: NKOREA-POLITICS-KIM

Business as usual

Kim Jong Un visits the August 25 Fisheries Station under Korean Peoples' Army (KPA) 313 Unit in an image released Dec. 16, 2013. Kim spent a whirlwind weekend making public appearances around the country which analysts said were intended to demonstrate his firm grip on power following the shock execution of his uncle.

Kns / AFP
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