North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's grandson will be enrolling at a private high school in Bosnia made up of international students, a school official indicated Friday.
Kim Han Sol, 16, will be the first student from North Korea to attend the United World College's branch in Mostar, school spokeswoman Meri Musa said. The boy will arrive in Bosnia once his visa has been approved. In some nations, a college is equivalent to a high school.
Musa said that Kim Han Sol will be treated like all other students and will be living in a dormitory.
The chairman of the school's founding board, David Sutcliffe, issued a statement saying "the entry of a student from North Korea, furthermore from a very well-known family, has understandably generated surprise and comment, some of it critical."
He recalled this was not the first time the UWC had controversial students and that the "United World Colleges exist in order to cross new frontiers in international education."
"The opportunity of taking a first step in bringing North Korea into the international community, through youth, is one to be cherished," he added.
Mostar is 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Sarajevo and the school, opened in 2006, has 124 students from 34 countries, including Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
It is part of the United World College's network of schools established by a British foundation in 1962 with the aim of bringing together young people "whose experience was of the political conflict of the Cold War era," the statement said.
The school in Bosnia is located at the former front line in downtown Mostar that divides the town in two since a war broke out between Muslim Bosnians and the Catholic Croats in 1992-95. The opening of the school contributed to reconciliation and peace in the city.