Kim Jong Un celebrates his birthday with a bang as he seeks to cement rule

TOKYO — Kim Jong Un turns 33 on Friday, and from the North Korean leader’s perspective, he has plenty to celebrate: Everyone’s talking about him again.

After several years of being overshadowed by the more imminent threat of the Islamic State and jockeying with Iran for the title of scariest nuclear regime, North Korea is back on the international agenda.

Governments around the world rushed to condemn Wednesday’s nuclear test — regardless of whether it involved a hydrogen bomb, as Pyongyang claimed, or an atomic device in line with its three previous tests — and the U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting. In the United States, presidential hopefuls piled on with denunciations of Kim. Hillary Clinton called him a “bully,” Marco Rubio said he was a “lunatic,” and Ted Cruz dubbed him a “megalomaniacal maniac.”

Kim, like his father, Kim Jong Il, is often viewed as a caricature: a rotund man with a bad haircut and a worse standard outfit, who spews invective at the outside world while watching basketball games in his luxurious palaces. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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