November 13, 2009 09:19
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il ranked 24th on a list of the world's 67 most powerful people released by Forbes magazine on Wednesday. Forbes put Kim above British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (29th), Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (35th), and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (56th). No South Koreans were listed.
U.S. President Barack Obama topped the list, followed by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Forbes said it assessed people's power using four criteria: the number of people they influence; their ability to project power beyond their immediate sphere of influence; control of or access to significant financial resources (for heads of state the magazine used GDP); and how actively they wield power.
The magazine pointed out that Kim commands the world's fourth-largest standing army and engages in high-stakes nuclear gambles. Also listed are international terrorist leader Osama bin Laden (37th) and Mexican drug king Joaquin Guzman (41st).
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