Wayne, Switzerland, Nintendo discussed on Fresh Air


So he had a very unusual and dysfunctional upbringing. He didn't go to school. He had private tutors, who came to the house. He didn't have any friends. He didn't play with other local children. He just had his brother and his sister to play. With their so he had a very strange childhood, where he grew up believing that he was very, very special princeling and at the time when other people in his country were starving to death literally and, you know, struggling to survive, he lived a life of salute decadence where they were fade imported food, French, pastries, and salmon broadened from overseas. And he had LEGO and all sorts of Nintendo kind of toys at that time. So he had a very unusual upbringing in North Korea. Right. And he lived in Switzerland for a few years going to school. You talk to people who knew him there. What did they say about them? That's right when he was twelve years old. He joined his older brother in Switzerland and the capital of where has brother had been living with his maternal aunt, and uncle, and first of all he enrolled and an English language private school. He spent two years, there learning English learning in English. And then he transferred to a local German language school in his neighborhood. So when I Wayne visited the apartment where he lived in to the very often Inari apartment complex. And, you know, a suburb of that there's nothing special about it. And he went to a school that was at the public school very close to his apartment where he basically had three or four friends, all the children of immigrants. He hung out with them and kind of kept to himself, people at that time, said that he was quite reserved. He had did have trouble communicating with them because of language difficulties, but even once he became conversant in German. He was still quite kind of shy and had different. He communicating. But his one great passion was basketball, so every day after school he would head down to the high school courts there, and he would shoot hopes and play with other local kids, they didn't care who he was. They thought that he was Thai, actually because the Thai embassy was close to that high school. So there he was just able to be kind of relatively normal kid, except for the fact that there were adults. You know, Koreans who sat there in dictators keeping score and being excessively complimentary whenever he did. Well, it's fascinating to think about the impact on a kid of learning at a very early age that he is the anointed one you described his eighth birthday party. What was that, like, that's right for his eighth birthday party? He was presented with a little general's uniform, an olive green uniform with gold buttons, and epaulettes and things. And he was told that he would be the successor of his father, so at this birthday party, which was attended by the fficials actually real generals from the Korean People's Army. You know they were doing to him. And the generals was saluting him and treating him as if he would be the to his father one day, and his aunt who was present at birth. They've. Party told me that from that point on it was impossible for him to act like normal child, that he was head, the sense of entitlement and was treated in this very phoning ways. So he grew up expecting, you know to be able to give commands there's this lovely little detail you have about going bass fishing boat. I guess with his father and you got to know the shift Fujimoto believe was the name of this guy who spent years with the family when he would catch a fish Kim Jong UN would what he would hold the fish and say, hey, look what I caught. That's right..

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