Known to his people variously as The Supreme Leader, the Dear Leader, Our Father, the General, Lodestar of the 21st Century or Eternal President, Kim Jong-il has been credited with a mind-boggling series of achievements.
* Even before his birth, the future leader of North Korea was triggering miracles. Official biographers say his birth in a cabin on the slopes of Baekdu Mountain in February 1942 was foretold by a swallow and heralded by a double rainbow. When he was born, a new star appeared in the night sky.
* The first time he picked up a golf club, in 1994, Kim reportedly shot a 38-under par round on North Korea's only golf course, including 11 holes-in-one. He then decided to retire from the sport for ever.
* Kim has the ability to alter the weather simply through the power of thought.
* The fledgling leader was a genius as an infant, with official North Korean biographies stating that he had learned to walk at just 3 weeks and was talking at 8 weeks.
* As a junior high school pupil in Pyongyang, he corrected and chastised his teachers for their incorrect interpretations of history.
* Kim wrote six full operas in two years, "all of which are better than any in the history of music," according to his official biography.
* He designed the Tower of the Juche Idea, a 170-metre tower in the east bank of the River Taedong in central Pyongyang that is topped by a glowing red flame.
* Kim's official biography also claims that he wrote 1,500 books during his time at Kim Sung Il University, from where he graduated in 1964.
* According to the Korea Central News Agency, Kim is an expert on all aspects of the film industry and "improved the scripts and guided the production" of the movie "Diary of a Girl Student." His favourite movies are reportedly "Friday the 13th," "Rambo" and anything starring Elizabeth Taylor.
* Kim reportedly employs a servant to inspect every grain of rice that is served to him. Any with the most minor of flaws is discarded.
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