April 20, 2012 12:31
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made it on TIME magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world for the second year running. No South Korean national made the list this year as pop star Rain, included last year, was dropped.
Kim is in the "rogues" category along with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and Sheik Moktar Ali Zubeyr, the leader of Somali Islamist militia al-Shabab.
The magazine describes Kim as "the incarnation of the tenets of self-sufficiency established by his grandfather and father, the first and second emperors of the communist dynasty." But it added "autarky and a war footing are not paths to prosperity. Hence gulags, famine and privation; hence nuclear arms and military adventurism to wrest what Pyongyang calls concessions (what others would construe as aid) from friend and foe."
In sports, Taiwanese-American NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin led the pack for having "dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn't hack it in the NBA -- and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court."
Oscar Pistorius, a South African double-amputee sprinter often dubbed "blade runner," Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, and NFL American football player Tim Tebow are also among the listed athletes.
Other figures on the list include Kate Middleton, now married to the U.K.'s Prince William, and her younger sister Pippa; Tim Cook, successor of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple; Walter Isaacson, a former editor of TIME magazine and biographer of Jobs; and international hacker group Anonymous.
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