Kim Jong-il's Lavish Lifestyle in the Spotlight

      June 25, 2010 08:08

      What kind of houses do dictators live in? U.S. magazine Foreign Policy on Wednesday featured the sumptuous homes and lifestyles of tyrants around the world including North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

      Under the title "Lifestyles of the Rich and Tyrannical," the magazine said Kim is "thought to have two residences in Pyongyang as well as 10 country chalets throughout North Korea -- and there are probably more if you include the country estates that belonged to his late father Kim Il-sung. Many of these are reportedly connected to each other by private underground rail lines."

      One of his largest homes is a seven-story tower on the beach, "with three stories beneath the ocean's surface" in South Hamgyong Province.

      The tower features "separate floors for Kim's family members and a unique underwater viewing room," it said. "At another one of his estates, Kim is thought to enjoy body-boarding in an indoor wave pool, accompanied at all times by a young female doctor and nurse."

      Kim is also known for "throwing lavish, all-night drinking parties for his top officials, usually including a bevy of scantily clad young women." According to brandy maker Hennessy, Kim ordered more than half a million dollars worth of cognac in the 1990s alone.

      The magazine also looked at the lifestyles of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the Obiang family of Equatorial Guinea, and Than Shwe of Burma.

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