Kim Jong-un

Marshal of the Republic
Kim Jong-un
김정은
Kim Jong-un at the Workers' Party of Korea main building.png
3rd Supreme Leader of North Korea
Assumed office
17 December 2011
PresidentKim Yong-nam
PremierChoe Yong-rim
Pak Pong-ju
Preceded byKim Jong-il
Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea
Assumed office
9 May 2016
First Secretary: 11 April 2012 – 9 May 2016
DeputyKim Yong-chol
Preceded byKim Jong-il (General Secretary)
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
Assumed office
30 June 2016
DeputyHwang Pyong-so
Choe Ryong-hae
Pak Pong-ju
Preceded byOffice established
In office
13 April 2012 – 30 June 2016
National Defence Commission
DeputyKim Yong-chun
Ri Yong-mu
Jang Song-thaek
O Kuk-ryol
Choe Ryong-hae
Hwang Pyong-so
Preceded byKim Jong-il
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Chair of the Central Military Commission
Assumed office
11 April 2012
Acting: 17 December 2011 – 11 April 2012
DeputyChoe Ryong-hae
Ri Yong-ho
Hwang Pyong-so
Preceded byKim Jong-il
Leader of the Presidium of the Politburo
Assumed office
11 April 2012
Acting: 17 December 2011 – 11 April 2012
Preceded byKim Jong-il
Supreme Commander of the
Korean People's Army
Assumed office
30 December 2011
Preceded byKim Jong-il
Personal details
Born(1983-01-08) 8 January 1983 (age 35)
(South Korean records)[1]
(1984-01-08) 8 January 1984 (age 34)
(American records)[2][3]
Spouse(s)Ri Sol-ju (m. 2009)
ChildrenKim Ju-ae and possibly another two
Alma materKim Il-sung University
Kim Il-sung Military University
Signature
Military service
Allegiance North Korea
Service/branch Korean People's Army
Years of service2010–present
RankMarshal of the DPRK rank insignia.svg Marshal of the Republic
Commands Supreme Commander


Leaders of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un (Korean and Chinese characters).svg
Kim's name in hangul (top) and hanja (bottom) scripts.
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha[4]
Revised RomanizationGim Jeong(-)eun
McCune–ReischauerKim Chŏngŭn

Kim Jong-un (Chosŏn'gŭl김정은, Korean: [kim.dʑʌŋ.ɯn];[a] born 8 January 1983) is a North Korean politician serving as leader of North Korea since 2011 and Leader of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2012.

Kim is the second child of Kim Jong-il (1941–2011) and Ko Yong-hui (1952–2004).[5] The grandson of Kim Il-sung, the first leader of North Korea from 1948 to 1994,[6] he is the first North Korean leader to have been born after the country's founding.[7]

From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as heir apparent to the leadership of the DPRK, and following the elder Kim's death, he was announced as the "Great Successor" by North Korean state television.[8] Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (as First Secretary between 2012 and 2016), Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army,[9] and member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body in North Korea.[10] Kim was promoted to the rank of Marshal of North Korea in the Korean People's Army on 18 July 2012, consolidating his position as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces[11] and is often referred to as Marshal Kim Jong-un or "the Marshal" by state media.[12] Kim obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University, and another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University.[13][14]

Forbes magazine ranked Kim as the 46th most powerful person in the world in 2013 and the third highest amongst Koreans after Ban Ki-moon and Lee Kun-hee.[15] On 12 December 2013, North Korean news outlets reported that Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek due to "treachery".[16] On 9 March 2014, Kim was elected unopposed to the Supreme People's Assembly. He is widely believed to have ordered the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia in February 2017.[17][18]

Despite tense relations, North Korea agreed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and enter with South Korea during the opening ceremony as a unified Korea, and field a unified team in women's ice hockey. Following the Olympics, Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in conducted the April 2018 inter-Korean summit. It was the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean leader entered the South's territory. On 12 June 2018, Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met for the 2018 North Korea–United States summit in Singapore, the first-ever talks held between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President, to discuss the North Korean nuclear program.

Early life

The Liebefeld-Steinhölzli public school in Köniz, Switzerland, which Kim Jong-un is reported to have attended.

Scarce information on Kim Jong-un's early life comes from North Korean defectors and people who have claimed to witness him abroad, such as during his school attendance in Switzerland. Some of the information has been conflicting and contradictory, perhaps confusing him with his brother, Kim Jong-chul, who also attended school in Switzerland around the same time.

North Korean authorities and state-run media have stated that Kim's birthdate was 8 January 1982,[19] but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later.[1] It is thought that Kim's official birth year was changed for symbolic reasons; 1982 marks 70 years after the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and 40 years after the official birth of his father Kim Jong-il. The US Treasury Department lists Kim Jong-un's official birthdate as 8 January 1984.[20] Former basketball star Dennis Rodman said that this was Kim's birthdate after meeting in September 2013 in North Korea.[1]

Kim Jong-Un was the second of three children Ko Yong-hui bore to Kim Jong-il; his elder brother Kim Jong-chul was born in 1981, while his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, is believed to have been born in 1987.[21][22]

According to reports first published in Japanese newspapers, he went to school in Switzerland near Bern. First reports claimed he attended the private English-language International School in Gümligen under the name "Chol-pak" or "Pak-chol" from 1993 to 1998.[23] He was described as shy, a good student who got along well with his classmates and was a basketball fan.[24] He was chaperoned by an older student, who was thought to be his bodyguard.[25]

Later, it was reported that Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli state school in Köniz near Bern under the name "Pak-un" or "Un-pak" from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the North Korean embassy in Bern. Authorities of Köniz confirmed that a student from North Korea, registered as the son of a member of the embassy, attended the school from August 1998 until the autumn of 2000, but were unable to give details about his identity. Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and later attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in the autumn of 2000. He was described as a well-integrated and ambitious student who liked to play basketball.[26] However, his grades and attendance rating are reported to have been poor.[27] The ambassador of North Korea in Switzerland, Ri Chol, had a close relationship with him and acted as a mentor.[28] One of Pak-un's classmates told reporters that he had told him that he was the son of the leader of North Korea.[29][30] According to some reports, Kim was described by classmates as a shy child who was awkward with girls and indifferent to political issues, but who distinguished himself in sports and had a fascination with the American National Basketball Association and Michael Jordan. One friend claimed that he had been shown pictures of Pak-un with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč.[31]

In April 2012, new documents came to light indicating that Kim Jong-un had lived in Switzerland since 1991 or 1992, earlier than previously thought.[32]

The Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, France, after comparing the picture of the boy Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999 with a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 came to the conclusion that the two faces show a conformity of 95%. The head of the institute, Raoul Perrot, a forensic anthropologist, considers it most likely that the two pictures show the same person.[33]

It is believed that the student at the Gümligen International School may not have been Kim Jong-un, but his elder brother Kim Jong-chul. It is not known whether the student known as Pak-un in Liebefeld Steinhölzli lived in Switzerland prior to 1998.[34] All the children of Kim Jong-il are said to have lived in Switzerland, as well as the mother of the two youngest sons, who lived in Geneva for some time.[28]

Most analysts agree that Kim Jong-un attended Kim Il-sung University, a leading officer-training school in Pyongyang, from 2002 to 2007.[35]

In late February 2018, Reuters reported that Kim and his father had used forged passports—supposedly issued by Brazil and dated 26 February 1996—to apply for visas in various countries. Both 10-year passports carry a stamp saying "Embassy of Brazil in Prague". Kim Jong-un's passport records the name "Josef Pwag" and a date of birth of 1 February 1983.[36]

For many years, only one confirmed photograph of him was known to exist outside North Korea, apparently taken in the mid-1990s, when he was eleven.[37] Occasionally other supposed images of him surfaced but were often disputed.[38] It was only in June 2010, shortly before he was given official posts and publicly introduced to the North Korean people, that more pictures were released of Kim, taken when he was attending school in Switzerland.[39] The first official image of him as an adult was a group photograph released on 30 September 2010, at the end of the party conference that effectively anointed him, in which he is seated in the front row, two places from his father. This was followed by newsreel footage of him attending the conference.[40]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kim Jong-oen
Alemannisch: Kim Jong-un
العربية: كم جونغ أون
aragonés: Kim Jong-un
asturianu: Kim Jong-un
azərbaycanca: Kim Çen In
বাংলা: কিম জং উন
Bân-lâm-gú: Kim Jong-un
беларуская: Кім Чэн Ын
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кім Чэн Ын
भोजपुरी: किम जोंग-उन
Bikol Central: Kim Jong-un
български: Ким Чен Ун
bosanski: Kim Jong-un
brezhoneg: Kim Jong-un
català: Kim Jong-un
čeština: Kim Čong-un
Cymraeg: Kim Jong-un
Deutsch: Kim Jong-un
Ελληνικά: Κιμ Γιονγκ Ουν
español: Kim Jong-un
Esperanto: Kim Ĝong-un
euskara: Kim Jong-un
français: Kim Jong-un
Gaeilge: Kim Jong-un
galego: Kim Jong-un
贛語: 金正恩
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kim Jong-un
한국어: 김정은
Հայերեն: Կիմ Ջոնգ Ուն
हिन्दी: किम जोंग उन
hrvatski: Kim Jong-un
Bahasa Indonesia: Kim Jong-un
íslenska: Kim Jong-un
italiano: Kim Jong-un
ქართული: კიმ ჩენ ინი
Kiswahili: Kim Jong-un
kurdî: Kim Jong-un
latviešu: Kims Čonins
lietuvių: Kim Džongunas
lumbaart: Kim Jong-un
magyar: Kim Dzsongun
मैथिली: किम जोङ उन
македонски: Ким Џонг Ун
مازِرونی: کیم جونگ اون
Bahasa Melayu: Kim Jong-un
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Kim Jong-un
монгол: Ким Жонъынь
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကင်ဂျုံအွန်
Nederlands: Kim Jong-un
Nedersaksies: Kim Jong-un
नेपाली: किम जोङ उन
日本語: 金正恩
norsk nynorsk: Kim Jong-un
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kim Jong-un
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕਿਮ ਜੌਂਗ ਉਨ
Papiamentu: Kim Jong-un
Plattdüütsch: Kim Jong-un
polski: Kim Dzong Un
português: Kim Jong-un
română: Kim Jong-un
русский: Ким Чен Ын
sicilianu: Kim Jong-un
Simple English: Kim Jong-un
slovenčina: Kim Čong-un
slovenščina: Kim Jong-un
ślůnski: Kim Dzong Un
српски / srpski: Ким Џонг Ун
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kim Jong-un
svenska: Kim Jong-Un
Tagalog: Kim Jong-un
тоҷикӣ: Ким Чен Ун
Türkçe: Kim Jong-un
Türkmençe: Kim Çžon Yn
українська: Кім Чен Ин
vèneto: Kim Jong-un
Tiếng Việt: Kim Jong-un
Winaray: Kim Jong-un
吴语: 金正恩
Yorùbá: Kim Jong-un
粵語: 金正恩
žemaitėška: Kim Džiuong Un
中文: 金正恩