Kim Jong-un born 8 January 1983, is a North Korean politician. He has been Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011. Also the leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) since 2012.
He is a son of Kim Jong-il, who was North Korea’s second supreme leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui.
He is a grandson of Kim Il-sung who was the founder and first supreme leader of North Korea. From its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.
First Leader of North Korea
Kim II Sung is the first leader of North Korea to have been born in the country after its founding in 1948.
Kim Jong Un was viewed a successor to the leadership of North Korea from late 2010. Following his father’s death in December 2011, state television announced Kim as the “Great Successor”.
Kim holds the titles of General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. He is the President of the State Affairs Commission.
Presidium of the Politburo
And also, a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The highest decision-making body.
Kim received a promotion to the highest rank of Marshal in the Korean People’s Army in July 2010. Consolidating his position as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
North Korean state media often refer to him as “Marshal Kim Jong-un” or “Dear Respected Leader”.
Policy of Byungjin
He has promoted the policy of byungjin. Similar to Kim Il-sung’s policy from the 1960s, referring to the simultaneous development of both the economy and the country’s nuclear weapons program.
Kim rules North Korea as a totalitarian dictatorship. And his leadership has followed the same cult of personality as his grandfather and father.
A landmark United Nations Human Rights Council report, suggested that Kim be put on trial for crimes against humanity in 2014.
Execution of North Korean Officials
He has ordered the purge or execution of several North Korean officials. He is believed to have assasinated his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam in 2017.
This was in Malaysia. He has presided over an expansion of the consumer economy, construction projects and tourist attractions.
Kim also expanded North Korea’s nuclear program. Which led to heightened tensions with the United States and South Korea.
Summits with South Korean and US Presidents
In 2018 and 2019, Kim took part in summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump.
He has claimed success in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in North Korea Although many experts doubt the country has had no cases altogether.
Second of three children
Kim Jong-un is 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, was born in 1987. He is a grandson of Kim Il-sung.
Who was the founder of and led North Korea, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.
North Korean Citizen
Kim is the first leader of North Korea, to have been born a North Korean citizen. His father having been born in the Soviet Union, and his grandfather having been born a Japanese subject during the colonial period.
All the children of Kim Jong-il spent their lives in Switzerland. As well as the mother of the two youngest sons, who lived in Geneva for some time.
First reports said that Kim Jong-un attended the private International School of Berne. In Gümligen in Switzerland, under the name “Chol-pak” or “Pak-chol” from 1993 to 1998.
Shy and Good Student
He is shy, a good student who got along well with his classmates, and was a basketball fan.
However, it is later suggested that the student at the Gümligen school, was not Kim Jong-un, but his elder brother Kim Jong-chul.
Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli state school. In Köniz near Bern under the name “Pak-un”.
1989 – 2000
Or “Un-pak” from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the North Korean embassy in Bern.
Authorities confirmed that a North Korean student from North Korea attended the school during that period.
Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and later attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th.
Final 9th Year
And part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in the autumn of 2000. He is a well-integrated and ambitious student and liked to play basketball.
However, his grades and attendance rating were poor. The ambassador of North Korea in Switzerland, Ri Chol, had a close relationship with him and acted as a mentor.
One of Pak-un’s classmates told reporters that he had told him, that he was the son of the leader of North Korea.
Awkward with girls
According to some reports, Kim s 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.
Lived in Switzerland
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.
The Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, France, compared the picture of Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999.
With a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 and concluded that the faces show a conformity of 95%. Suggesting that it is most likely that they are the same person.
Washington Post report
The Washington Post reported in 2009, that Kim Jong-un’s school friends, recalled he “spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan”.
Obsessed with basketball and computer games, he was a fan of Jackie Chan action movies.
Most analysts agree that Kim Jong-un attended Kim Il-sung University. A leading officer-training school in Pyongyang, from 2002 to 2007.
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.
In late February 2018, Reuters reported that Kim and his father, had used forged passport. 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.
Photo Outside North Korea
Only one confirmed photograph of him is known to exist for many years. Outside North Korea, apparently taken in the mid-1990s, when he was eleven.
Other supposed images of him occasionally surfaced but disputed. 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.
First Official Image
The first official image of him as an adult, was a group photograph released on 30 September 2010.
The party conference effectively anointed him and in which he is sat in the front row. Two places from his father. Followed by newsreel footage of him attending the conference.
Eldest half – brother
Kim Jong-un’s eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favorite to succeed. But reportedly fell out of favor after 2001.
When he was caught attempting to enter Japan, on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. In 2017, Kim Jong-nam was killed in Malaysia by suspected North Korean agents.
Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, Kenji Fujimoto, revealed details regarding Kim Jong-un. With whom he had a good relationship.
Stating that he was favored to be his father’s successor. Fujimoto also said that Jong-un was favored by his father, over his elder brother, Kim Jong-chul.
Reasoning that Jong-chul is too feminine in character. While Jong-un is “exactly like his father”.
Furthermore, Fujimoto stated that “if power is to be handed over, then Jong-un is the best for it. He has superb physical gifts. Is a big drinker and never admits defeat.”
Smokes Yves Saint Laurent Cigarettes
Also, according to Fujimoto, Jong-un smokes Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes. Loves Johnnie Walker whisky and has a Mercedes-Benz 600 luxury sedan.
When Jong-un was 18, Fujimoto described an episode where Jong-un once questioned his lavish lifestyle.
And asked, “we are here, playing basketball, riding horses, riding jet skis, having fun together. But what of the lives of the average people?”
Reports of a successor
On 15 January 2009, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that Kim Jong-il had appointed Kim Jong-un to be his successor.
On 8 March 2009, BBC News reported that Kim Jong-un was on the ballot for 2009 elections. To the Supreme People’s Assembly, the rubber stamp parliament of North Korea.
Subsequent reports indicated that his name did not appear on the list of lawmakers.
North Korean Military
In the National Defense Commission, which is a banch of the North Korean military. From 2009, it was understood by foreign diplomatic services that Kim was to succeed his father Kim Jong-il.
As the head of the Korean Workers’ Party and de facto leader of North Korea. He has been named “Yŏngmyŏng-han Tongji” (영명한 동지).
Which loosely translates to “Brilliant Comrade”. His father had also asked embassy staff abroad to pledge loyalty to his son.
Newly Composed Song of Praise
There have also been reports that citizens in North Korea were encouraged to sing a newly composed “song of praise” to Kim Jong-un.
In a similar fashion to that of praise songs relating to Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. Later, in June, Kim was reported to have visited China.
Secretly to “present himself” to the Chinese leadership, who later warned against North Korea conducting another nuclear test. The Chinese foreign ministry has strongly denied that this visit occurred.
In September 2009, it was reported that Kim Jong-il had secured support for the succession plan after a propaganda campaign.
It is believed by some that, Kim Jong-un was involved in the Cheonan sinking and the bombardment of Yeonpyeong.
To strengthen his military credentials and facilitate a successful transition of power from his father.
Central Military Commission
Kim Jong-un was made a daejang. The equivalent of a four-star general in the United States, on 27 September 2010.
A day ahead of a rare Workers’ Party of Korea conference in Pyongyang. The first time North Korean media had mentioned him by name.
And despite him having no previous military experience. Despite the promotion, no further details.
On 28 September 2010, he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. And appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, in an apparent nod to become the successor to Kim Jong-il.
On 10 October 2010, Kim Jong-un was alongside his father, when he attended the ruling Workers’ Party’s 65th-anniversary celebration.
This was seen as confirming his position, as the next leader of the Workers’ Party. Unprecedented international press access was granted to the event.
Importance of Kim Jong Un’s presence
Further indicating the importance of Kim Jong-un’s presence. In January 2011. The regime reportedly began purging around 200 protégés.
Of both Jong-un’s uncle-in-law Jang Song-thaek and O Kuk-ryol, the vice chairman of the National Defence Commission.
By either detention or execution to further prevent either man from rivaling Jong-un.