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North Korea leader Kim Jong Un wins Time Person of the Year readers' poll

The 29-year-old, who this week is celebrating a year ruling the insular state, has been declared 'Person of the Year' by readers of Time magazine.

He's already had quite an eventful first year in charge of North Korea, topping polls and launching missiles, now Kim Jong Un has another 'accolade' for the 2012 collection.

The 29-year-old, who this week is celebrating a year ruling the insular state, has been declared 'Person of the Year' by readers of Time magazine.

And despite his international unpopularity over North Korea's missile launching programme, the diminuitive leader swept the board in the readers' poll, raking in a whopping 5.6 million votes.

The poll is not Time magazine's official Person of the Year announcement, which is revealed on December 19.

And the North Korean leader might will be slightly disappointed to learn that his landslide victory was apparently due to the poll being fixed by users of internet forum 4chan.

As has been the case in previous years, users of the cult internet forum decided to manipulate the results of the vote, and urged readers to vote for Kim in their thousands (and millions).

The surprising result is not the first time a U.S. media outlet has declared Kim Jong Un a poll winner in a tongue-in-cheek vote.

In November, satirical website The Onion named him 2012's Sexiest Man Alive.

Kim Jong Un, pictured this week, has had an eventful first year in charge of North Korea (PA)

The website for People's Daily—the Communist Party of China's newspaper, clearly not getting the joke, took the story seriously, publishing a story congratulating him on nabbing the award.

It's also not the first time Kim Jong Un has achieved stardom in Time magazine - in February the magazine made him a cover star, with an accompanying story about him assuming power from his late father with the headline, 'Lil' Kim'.

Daily Show presenter John Stewart came second in the poll, with 2.4million votes, ahead of 'undocumented immigrants' (1.55m votes), 'Douglas' (1.51m) and Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and
Thein Sein (1.48m).

Time's offical Person of the Year award has been going since 1927, with previous winners including 'The Protester' (2011) and 'You' in 2006.