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Kim Jong Un honored as 'global statesman' by Indonesia center

By
Elizabeth Shim
Kim Jong Un was honored at Indonesia's Sukarno Center because he has carried out the ideals of his grandfather Kim Il Sung to fight imperialism, according to Rachmawati Soekarnoputri. File Photo by KCNA/Yonhap
Kim Jong Un was honored at Indonesia's Sukarno Center because he has carried out the "ideals" of his grandfather Kim Il Sung to "fight imperialism," according to Rachmawati Soekarnoputri. File Photo by KCNA/Yonhap

SEOUL, July 31 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un has been recognized as a "global statesman" in Indonesia, an award previously given to Mahatma Gandhi and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi.

The award from the Bali-based Sukarno Center is usuallly given to world leaders working toward peace and development, Jakarta Globe reported.

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Under Kim, North Koreans continue to be arbitrarily detained, tortured and purged, according to Human Rights Watch.

Kim Jong Un also has strengthened a rule of terror formed under grandfather Kim Il Sung's time, according to HRW deputy director Phil Robertson.

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The United Nations has stated that 70 percent or 18 million North Koreans are experiencing some kind of food shortage and an ongoing drought is leading to drastic reductions in the food supply.

These reports, however, did not factor into the Sukarno Center's decision to name Kim as an award recipient.

Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, the second daughter of Indonesia's founding President Sukarno, made the announcement Thursday after a meeting with North Korea Ambassador Ri Jong Ryul, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

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"We will give the award to [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un because he has been consistent in carrying out the ideals of the great leader Kim Il Sung, which is to fight imperialism," Rachmawati said.

Rachmawati, an honorary chairwoman of Pyongyang's Korean reunification preparation committee, said the Sukarno Center had presented the award posthumously to North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.

Rachmawati said the elder Kim was a "hero of independence and peace."

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According to Pyongyang propaganda, Kim Il Sung and President Sukarno shared a close rapport and the Indonesia leader presented a flowering plant as a tribute to Kim, which was later named the Kimilsungia in the North Korean leader's honor.

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