Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin are both very controversial leaders who rose to power in unconventional ways. They have plenty in common, including leadership styles, volatile United States relations, and more. But you probably didn’t know the one surprising trait these two both share (check out page 4).
They are both powerful world leaders
Although most people wonder how these two can rule any country, there is no denying that they are both extremely powerful leaders. Without Kim’s nuclear program, he would not be a threat, however with his recent developments and his plans to destroy the U.S., he is more present than ever. Russia is one of the largest countries in the world, and its views and decisions, such as its stance on the conflict in Syria, have had a huge impact on many countries — especially the U.S.
Other countries question their leadership style
It seems as if both Kim and Putin are two of the most hated people in the world, and that is largely due to their savage leadership style. In Korea, nearly 70% of the population relies on government assistance for food. Meanwhile, Kim spends nearly $30 million per year on lavish food and drink. Many Russians suspect that Putin only won the election because of election fraud. That in itself says a lot about his leadership style and likability.
They have a volatile relationship with the U.S.
While Donald Trump did say he believed that Putin didn’t meddle in the 2016 election, the two don’t exactly get along. The conflicts involving Syria have put a lot of strain on Trump and Putin’s relationship. Plus, Obama and Putin were constantly at odds during Obama’s time in office. Kim only rose to power in the last few years, but since Trump has taken office, the tensions have risen. Insults are exchanged frequently, mostly through tweets on Trump’s end and statements on Kim’s end. Kim’s threats to destroy major cities in the U.S. are being taken much more seriously now, thanks to the constant improvements being made in the North Korean missile program.
They are both 5’7
Believe it or not, Putin and Kim are the same height. It’s surprising that so much evil can fit into such petite bodies, but these two manage to do it. On the contrary, Kim also manages to fit millions of dollars’ worth of expensive foods into his body, while Putin prefers to show off his fit figure in $3,000 track suits.
They censor the media in their respective countries
The 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya is a perfect example of Russia censoring the media. Anything that goes against Russia’s decisions, such as Politkovskaya’s controversial reports on various crises in Russia, is kept out of the public’s knowledge. Russia has strict guidelines for its media, and one Russian politician even threatened to sue a children’s book over its words about the country.
North Korea is one of the most heavily censored countries in the world. Kim keeps very close tabs on information released to the public. The Associated Press reported that after analyzing more than 1,500 news stories in North Korea between July and October 2017, the three words that appeared most were Kim, nuclear, and war. It has also been reported that children in North Korea are taught to hate Americans.
They are both suspected of executions
It is estimated that Kim has killed about 340 of his own people since he took power in 2011 — some of them have even been his own family members. Kim is power hungry and also paranoid that someone will take that power. He has had people executed by firing squad, deadly chemicals, and more; he doesn’t spare anyone who gets in his way. Putin has a long list of suspected executions, too. His list consists mostly of journalists who have tried to tarnish Russia’s image.
One opposite: Their upbringing
While Putin and Kim have plenty in common, they do have one strong opposite. They were brought up in very different environments. Kim was raised royally. His father, former leader Kim Jong Il, was worth millions, which would explain Kim’s lavish taste today. He was sheltered from other struggling North Koreans. He went to boarding school in Europe and lived an extravagant childhood. Putin was raised in an apartment with two other families. He was a trouble maker in school, and behaved far differently from how the public might have expected. His father worked in a metal factory. Although the two were raised differently, they grew to both be powerful, controversial leaders.
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