North Korea's Kim Jong Un wins Time's 'Person of the Year' reader poll
North Korea's Kim Jong Un has got the most votes in Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' online poll, with the publication's readers preferring him over pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Pakistan child activist Malala Yousafzai.world Updated: Dec 13, 2012 22:23 IST
North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un has got the most votes in Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' online poll, with the publication's readers preferring him over pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Pakistani education advocate Malala Yousafzai.
Time said the readers' 'Person of the Year' poll is "unscientific" and Kim getting the most votes does not mean he is Time's Person of the Year, a title that is bestowed on the choice made by the publication's editors.
Time would announce the 2012 'Person of the Year' on December 19.
The publication said the young North Korean leader, whose official public appearance did not happen till 2010, received 5.6 million votes.
"This does not mean Kim is Time's Person of the Year. The poll allows readers to weigh in on the people and things whom they think influenced the news, for better or worse, in 2012," the publication said.
Time Executive Editor Radhika Jones said the magazine does not make its selection based on the poll results but "it is always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up."
In its profile of Kim, Time said the "chubby-cheeked" leader appears to have consolidated his grip on power, ousting rivals at home and taking a firm line with both the US and China less than a year after the death of his father Kim Jong Il.
"Some had hoped that the Switzerland-educated basketball fan, who is believed to be 29 or 30, would change his country's tragic course by rebuilding the economy, fighting hunger or dialing back nuclear gamesmanship. He has not. Young Kim may one day prove a great reformer, but for the vast majority of his subjects, fear and repression reign," it said.
'The Daily Show' host Jon Stewart, Undocumented Immigrants, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and Burmese leaders Suu Kyi and Thein Sein, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made it into the top 10.
However, some of the highest vote tallies got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan who launched a campaign to manipulate the results pushing North Korea's supreme leader to the top of the list, Time said.
Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her outspoken activism, placed 15th in the poll with 340,205 votes followed by Korean rapper Psy, creator of the 'Gangnam Style'-sensation and the most-watched video in YouTube history who was placed 17th.
US President Barack Obama, who was Time Person of the Year in 2008 got 89,000 votes and was placed 19.