Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kim Jong-il of North Korea is the World's Worst Dictator

15 Feb 2008 18:31 Africa/Lagos

PARADE Magazine Names Kim Jong-il of North Korea the World's Worst Dictator

Despite Atrocious Acts, the U.S. Continues To Do Business With Many Dictators

NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ --

Kim Jong-il of North Korea has been designated the World's Worst Dictator in PARADE Magazine's 6th annual listing by Contributing Editor David Wallechinsky. Kim beat out Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, who held the No. 1 position for three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007. Kim was No. 1 in 2003 and 2004.

Kim runs the most isolated, repressive regime in the world, says Wallechinsky in this Sunday's issue of PARADE. His citizens have no access to information other than government propaganda. His harsh system includes collective punishment (three generations of a family can be punished for one member's alleged crime); detainment of roughly 200,000 citizens in labor camps; and the capture, torture and jailing of those who try to flee to China. Last year, Kim's government carried out its pledge to the U.S. and other nations to shut down its nuclear reactors. However, it missed December's deadline to disclose its full nuclear inventory.

The dictators were chosen and ranked based on their human-rights abuses, the level of suffering that their leadership has caused and the amount of absolute power they wield. Sources include the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. Despite all of the atrocities, however, the United States continues to do business with many of the dictators' countries.

Omar Al-Bashir comes in second place this year. Than Shwe of Burma (Myanmar) has been in power since 1992 and has risen to the No. 3 slot on this year's list, up from No. 6 last year. Rounding out this year's list are the following dictators:

4) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
5) Hu Jintao of China
6) Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
7) Sayyid Ali Khamenei of Iran
8) Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan
9) Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan
10) Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea

Contributing Editor David Wallechinsky has reported on world leaders for PARADE and is the author of Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (Regan Books). Be sure to visit for more on The World's Worst Dictators.

Source: PARADE Magazine

CONTACT: Alexis Collado, Publicity Manager for PARADE Magazine,

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