That’s Dr Kim to you: Kim Jong-Un awarded honorary doctorate

North Korea's supreme leader lauded for his economic know-how
  • @Tom_Mendelsohn

Although the youthful leader of North Korea has been credited with many feats - amongst citizens he is particularly beloved for the daily prayers he offers to persuade gravity to stay on - his official credentials have always been relatively few and far between.

However Kim Jong-Un's slightly precarious grip on power will be perhaps now be strengthened by the fact he’s earned his first doctorate - in economics.

Kim was awarded an honorary degree from Malaysia's HELP University during a small ceremony at North Korea’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur in early October, according to KCNA, the communist country’s official news agency.

He was reportedly handed the doctorate in recognition of his “untiring efforts for the education of the country and the well-being of its people”.

The award was presented to Kim by the university’s vice-chancellor Dr Paul Chan, who said in an undated statement that the decision was about "building a bridge to reach the people".

Free Malaysia Today reports that Chan said he hoped this move would encourage cooperation between the two nations.

“It is a matter of time. Maybe within the next six years North Korea will engage the world in many constructive ways,” he said.

HELP University, a private institution, appears not to have too high a profile in Malaysia, though it has previously been twinned with at least two UK universities, including the Universities of Glamorgan and East London.

Kim is widely believed to be running a totalitarian regime, ruthlessly cracking down on political rivals to cement his shaky hereditary grasp on power. At 30, he is the world’s youngest head of state.