By Erik Crouch
No one really knows Kim Jong Un’s age: The Atlantic puts him at 30 years old, Russia Today says “between 26 and 28,” and Wikipedia guesses either 29 or 30. An official DPRK response to the age question was lacking until earlier this week: on January 8, the North Korean state media (one of the few sources that may actually know lil’ Kim’s birth year) congratulated the dictator on turning 33.
Obviously, the North Korean state media is not a reliable news source, but it is interesting to see what age they settled on. Making comrade Kim 33 years old ranks him as the 2nd youngest absolute ruler in the world, following the ever-youthful 32-year-old Reigning Dragon King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Kim’s 33rd was marked by festivities throughout the DPRK, as the Daily NK reports:
At 7AM today the authorities started distributing gifts to elementary, kindergarten and middle schools to mark comrade Kim Jong Eun’s birthday.
[…] Children had to show their birth certificates to the team to receive their gift bag. The gift bag included five things; a 100g bag of candy, a bag of cookies, candy made of beans, gum and rice crackers. However, the quality of the snacks was no better than in the past, and a lot of the kids didn’t much want to eat them.
Kim Jong Un celebrates his (probably inaccurate) 33rd birthday by giving undesirable candy to the nation’s children. The new, youthful despot is certainly less showy than his father, whose mythological mountain-birth was celebrated with tremendous mass ceremonies. Epic, communist synchronized swimming included.