Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the hostile North Korea, in a confusing twist, will be receiving an international peace prize that was once given to Mahatma Gandhi, reports The Washington Post.
Indonesian organization Sukarno Education Foundation announced its plan to give Kim a statesmanship award. As The Huffington Post documents, this accolade recognizes "peace, justice and humanity" — terms not generally associated with Kim and North Korea.
Although Kim is not due to receive the award until September, countries around the world remain puzzled by the organization’s decision.
Just last year an United Nations investigation charged the country with human rights abuses and crimes against humanity “without any parallel in the contemporary world." With the North Korean people suffering from famine and disease, the U.N. cited life in Nazi Germany as the only comparison to conditions in North Korea, according to The Washington Post.
After its announcement of the award, the Sukarno Education Foundation and others in Indonesia quickly defended the North Korean leader.
Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia’s first president, explained to Agence France-Presse that Kim “should be honored for his fight against neo-colonialist imperialism." The U.N. and other countries’ claims of human rights abuses are completely "untrue," Sukarnoputri explained.
"That's all just Western propaganda. Those Western governments like to put ugly labels on North Korea," she stated to the French paper, reports The Huffington Post.
As her own father ruled for 22 years and was often accused of being autocratic, Sukarnoputri continued on her campaign of defending Kim’s image. To the Jakarta Post, she remarked, “It’s common (to be branded a dictator). To stand on one’s principles in reaching a goal, many consider this the behavior of a dictator.”
As much as the peace award comes as a shocker to many Western nations, it should not. As the The Washington Post notes, North Korea and Indonesia have had close relations since the 1960s. Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, received the same award posthumously in 2001.
Not all Indonesians see North Korea so fairly. A BBC World Service poll discovered only 28 percent of Indonesians see North Korea as a positive influence, reports The Washington Post.