February 15, 2009 / 2:45 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-N.Korean leader Kim Jong-il's acclaimed feats

(For related stories, click [ID:nSEO204469] and [ID:nSEO50324])

By Jon Herskovitz

Feb 15 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il turns 67 on Monday, described by his official media as a "peerlessly great man" whose accomplishments can defy logic and weather patterns.

The following are North Korean accounts of Kim’s life:


Although analysts say Kim was born in the Soviet Union, his media says he was born at a secret revolutionary camp on Mount Paektu, a northern mountain on the Korean peninsula that many Koreans considered sacred. A double rainbow appeared over the mountain when he was born.


When Kim Jong-il officially took control of the state, pear and apricot trees mysteriously and spontaneously came into bloom across the country attracting butterflies and bees. Fisherman caught a rare white sea cucumber, which led Koreans to say "Kim Jong-il is indeed the greatest of great men produced by heaven".


For previous birthdays, North Korean media reported on the "Wonders of the February holiday" that included sunrises so brilliant that frost exploded with the sound of firecrackers, rainbows appeared and frozen lakes thawed with such a noise that it caused mountains to shake.

This year, skies over Kim Jong-il peak, "unfolded (with) such mysterious ecstasy" that a halo was seen around a moon so bright it illuminated the secret guerrilla camp where Kim was born with the brilliant light of day.


According to his official biography, Kim helped develop North Korea’s TV broadcasting industry. He repaired auto engines. He found ways for farmers and steel workers to produce goods more efficiently and avoid back-breaking labour.

He wrote a thesis on Korean history. He penned operas and plays — all before turning 23.


Kim was responsible for placing museums in all corners of the country. He developed an actors’ studio. In 1967, he brought the feature film "Five Guerrilla Brothers" to the screen. That movie was followed by "The Sea of Blood" and other movies, including several local award-winning films.

After building a strong North Korean film industry, Kim created a new revolutionary opera and adapted some of his films into operas. Then he developed a new type of literature.


Kim, who avoids travelling on airplanes for his rare trips overseas, did learn to be a crack fighter pilot.

He goes through intensive memory training every day and can remember the phone numbers of workers, lines of computer code and the personal biographies of cadres.

And legend has it that the first time Kim played golf, he shot 11 holes-in-one and carded a score about 20 strokes lower than the best round ever for a professional event over 18 holes. SOURCES: KCNA news agency, North Korea’s Foreign Language Publishing House, North’s communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, and North Korean Internet site "Among Our People") (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

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