An Indonesian foundation has announced that North Korea's leader Kim Jung Un will receive its prize for global statesmanship this year, which had previously been awarded to Mahatma Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Bali based Sukarno Education Foundation said Kim Jung Un will be presented the award in September for his "peace, justice and humanity," AFP reported.
The daughter of Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno, Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, dismissed criticism over the latest recipient of the award, which is given in her father's name.
She described accusations of human rights abuses by Kim Jong Un as "Western propaganda," and claimed he "should be honoured for his fight against neo-colonialist imperialism."
"The allegations about human rights abuses are untrue. That's all just Western propaganda. Those Western governments like to put ugly labels on North Korea," she told AFP.
The announcement by the Indonesian organisation came soon after reports of the reclusive North Korean leader's recent order to execute a terrapin farm manager for not supplying sufficient food and water to the farm’s aquarium tanks. The autocratic regime in North Korea has also accused many of its citizens of espionage, corruption, bribery, spying or treason.
Since he came to power following his father Kim Jong-il’s death in 2011, Kim Jong Un has repeatedly been accused of using brutal methods to eliminate potential opponents in the regime as well those within his inner circle who have objected to his policies.
In 2013, Kim ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in North Korea, after he was accused of corruption and committing crimes which damaged the country’s economy.
Indonesia established good ties with North Korea under Sukarno's presidency and has maintained these relations. The Sukarno foundation also gave the same reward to Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founding father.
The country announced it had been hit by "the worst drought in a century" last month, raising the fear of food shortages as malnutrition is already a big problem, especially among children.
According to the United Nations, nearly 10.2 million North Koreans are facing starvation due to the drought and it has pledged a $111 million fund for humanitarian assistance.