MALAYSIA - North Korea's premier, Kim Jong Un, was conferred an honorary doctorate for Economics by a Malaysian university.
The president of the private Malaysian university, HELP, handed over the certificate and costume to the North Korean ambassador at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, reported the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The North Korean news agency also reported the institute's president, Dr. Paul Chan, saying that it was his honour to award the degree to Kim Jon Un.
The president, who is also the institution's founder, hopes to develop cooperation between the DPRK and Malaysia in the field of education.
According the tertiary institute's website, it was founded in 1986, and "offers a wide and diverse range of programs covering business, law, management, economics, IT, social sciences and the humanities at undergraduate and graduate levels."
The founder read economics in the University of Malaya and completed his PhD at the Australian National University (ANU). He was also the Chairman of the Applied Economics Division in the University of Malaya.
He was also inducted into the ANU's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements in entrepreneurship.
In a statement by Dr. Chan that was reported by the Foreign Policy he says, "To me, the conferment of an Honorary Doctorate to His Excellency President Kim Jong Un is building a bridge to reach the people.
"I hope that using this 'soft constructive' approach we can help them and North Asia and the world to be a better place for mankind."
"I anticipate that it is a matter of time, within the next 6 years or so, that DPR Korea will engage the world in many constructive ways.
"I am just a bit ahead of them in that I feel no one at this moment has the courage to do this though their hearts tell them to do so."
"But let's start with offering education opportunities to the people of this country with the support of their President. Why deny them? Why punish them with sanctions? The people are hungry for education to change their lives. Give it to them."
Kim Jong Un is also the first foreign head of state to receive the degree by the university.