President Park named 46th most powerful person by Forbes, Kim Jong-un 49th

November 5, 2014
President Park Geun-hye was one of the 20 million victims of identity theft in South Korea. (Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae)

President Park Geun-hye was named the 46th most powerful person in the world by Forbes Magazine making her the fifth most powerful woman on the list. (Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae)

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye was named the 46th most powerful person in the world by Forbes Magazine on Wednesday, three notches ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and 17 notches ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin topped the list of the 72 most powerful people in the world, followed by U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the Forbes website.

Putin was the most powerful person for the second straight year.

“No one would call Vladimir Putin, a good guy,” the magazine said, citing Russia’s annexation of Crimea and what it called an “ugly proxy war” in Ukraine. “As the undisputed, unpredictable and unaccountable head of an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped state, no one would ever call him weak.”

Among women, Park was the fifth most powerful after Merkel (in fifth place), U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen (in sixth place), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (in 31st place), and Christine Lagarde (in 33rd place), managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

“Park has been busy meeting her fellow world leaders, most notably Pope Francis and Xi Jinping, the first time a new Chinese leader visited Seoul ahead of Pyongyang,” the magazine said. “Bested only by China and Japan when it comes to regional wealth, Park helms a $1.4 trillion economy, No. 13 in the world.”

Forbes put Abe in 63rd place, saying he is “struggling” after being elected as prime minister for the second time in 2012.

North Korean leader Kim, who was in the 49th place in the overall list, was the second most powerful young person after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who took the 22nd place in the overall list.

“The 31-year-old has absolute authority over the rusting ‘hermit kingdom’ of 25 million citizens running on an estimated $14 billion economy, fueled mostly with trade with China and South Korea,” Forbes said.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his son Lee Jae-yong both were ranked in 35th place, while U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in 40th place and World Bank President Kim Yong in 45th place, according to the magazine.

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