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N.Korean leader stresses Hitler's skills, report claims

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This photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 18, 2013, shows N.Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) visiting a machine plant in North Phyongan Province. Kim has reportedly given copies of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to his top officials, urging them to study it as a leadership skills manual.KCNA via KNS/AFP

North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un has reportedly given copies of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to his top officials, urging them to study it as a leadership skills manual.

Kim handed out translations of the German dictator's manifesto to select officials at the time of his birthday in January, reported New Focus International, an online news portal run by North Korean defectors.

The report, sourced to an unnamed North Korean official working in China, was picked up by all major South Korean newspapers on Wednesday.

"Mentioning that Hitler managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War I, Kim Jong-Un issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it," the source was quoted as saying.

Kim also stressed that sports had played a key role in cementing unity and spreading Nazi ideology in Germany, and called for policies to encourage sporting activities among North Koreans, the source said.

"Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle"), written in 1924 while Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison before becoming a German leader, is both a vicious anti-Semitic tract and rambling memoir.

A North Korean businessman told New Focus International of persistent rumours within the Pyongyang elite that Kim had made a close study of Hitler during his time at an international school in Switzerland.

The Kim family dynasty has ruled North Korea with an iron fist for more than six decades.

Kim Jong-Un took over the isolated communist state after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011.