Surprisingly for a state leader, especially a "godhead," Kim's voice has been heard only once by the nation, for a total of nine words. "Glory to the heroic soldiers of the People's Army," he said in 1992 at an obscure rally at a military base. Invitations to one state reception noted that one may speak to Kim, but that Kim would "not speak in reply," a Eastern European diplomat remembers. Kim has never appeared live on TV. Even in the period of mourning after the death of his father, the "Great Leader" - when posters stated mystically that "Kim Jong Il is now Kim Il Sung" - there was no fireside chat by Kim junior to his people.
Yet Kim reportedly micromanages the entire country. His state is a hermetically sealed cult that allows no debate; even top generals and their extended families undergo loyalty tests. A half-dozen concentration camps hold 200,000 inmates, a dozen intelligence units spy on the people and each other. North Korea has the world's fifth-largest army.