The Hague, Netherlands: Plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars were thrown into disarray yesterday when it became known that brash dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un has been included on the final shortlist of volunteers to make the pioneering one way trip to the Red Planet. It is understood that on learning the news all other applicants for the venture dramatically withdrew their candidatures amidst fears that Kim may attempt to re-introduce oppressive measures on Mars similar to those carried out against his own people- such as forced labor, starvation and mass execution.
According to observers of North Korea's secretive regime, it is thought that -Un (31) put his name forward as a result of having grown 'over-confident' in his own abilities -possibly due to his family's successful promotion of an extreme personality cult which routinely requires all members of the ruling elite and armed forces to venerate the Kims as living deities with extreme penalties for dissent.
Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp who is leading the project defended the nomination claiming that Kim Jong-Un had to be considered for the candidature despite his gross abuses of human rights: "According to Wikipedia, he has a degree in physics from a university named after his grandfather. He's also described as the great genius and guiding star of revolution by North Korean media. We spent hours combing newspaper reports from there, we couldn't find one bad word about him! I've read enough- he's got to be in the final shakedown."
Kim recently sprang to attention by executing his uncle and threatening the U.S. with a missile strike. Mission applicant speaking under guarantee of anonymity Sally Chow (32) Wisconsin: "And we're supposed to go to space with this guy? Permanently?"
The White House refused to be drawn on whether it secretly supported the nomination- spokesman: "Let's see how this one pans out."