Lifestyle & Belief

People of North Korea: Happy birthday Kim Jong Un!




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KYLE KIM/GlobalPost.

Forget that millions of North Korean children are starving — it's Kim Jong Un's birthday. Candy for everyone!

Actually, that sweet gift only applied to the country's 10 or younger crowd as the nation's leader is making sure two pounds of sugary goodness will reach every child, the AFP reported.

The tradition isn't new. Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, started the practice of giving birthday candy to North Korean children in 1980.

So how does one send out candy to every child in North Korea you ask? South Korea's largest news agency reported a various assortment of candy, caramel and gum gets airlifted to all children attending elementary schools, kingergarten and day care centers.

For other North Koreans, they get a less sweet deal. Not-so-fun celebration duties reportedly included "Street-Cleaning for the Leader's Birthday" and compulsory apple-picking days. The news blog also noted Pyonyang residents are having some adult-version fun with the festivities:

The people of the North have found a way to inject a little humour into the routine. January 8th is pronounced in Korean as ‘ilpal’ (one-eight). But the Korean word for eighteen, ‘sippal’, happens to be a homophone of the swear-word ‘f**king’. Pyongyang residents have decided to take advantage of this pun. They are referring to Kim Jong-un’s birthday as the ‘f**king birthday celebrations’, and compulsory apple-picking days as ‘f**king Apple-Picking Days’.

Among some groups of trusted friends, it goes further than that: Kim Jong-un is referred to as ‘f**king comrade’, ‘f**king Marshal or ‘f**king Kim the Third’.

Kim's age has long been shrouded in mystery with various reports saying he was born in 1982, 1983 or 1984. Former sushi chef to the Kim family Kenji Fujimoto told reporters in Tokyo last month that the date was Jan. 8, 1983, which would make him 30 years old.