Kim Jong-un: Wikis


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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Jong-un

Born Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Nationality North Korean
Political party Workers' Party of Korea
Relations Kim Jong-il (father)
Ko Young-hee (mother)
Kim Il-sung (grandfather)
Residence Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Alma mater Kim Il-sung University
Kim Jong-un
Chosŏn'gŭl 김정은
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chŏng'ŭn
Revised Romanization Gim Jeong-eun

Kim Jong-un (Korean: 김정은), also known as Kim Jong Eun,[1] Kim Jong-woon or Kim Jung Woon[2] (born January 8, 1982 or 1983[3]) is the third, and youngest, son of Kim Jong-il with his late partner Ko Young-hee.[4] He is currently expected to succeed his father as leader of North Korea.[5]


Early life and education

It is reported that he attended the English-language International School of Bern in Bern, Switzerland, until 1998 under a pseudonym,[6] although this is disputed.[7] It is also reported that other than his native Korean, he speaks English, some German, Bernese German,[8] and French, and that he enjoys skiing and basketball and is a fan of Michael Jordan and Jean-Claude Van Damme.[7][6] To date, only one known image of Kim Jong-un exists, taken when he was eleven.[9] However another photo, purportedly taken when he was 16, was published in the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.[10]


Kim Jong-un is expected to become leader of the country after his father. His eldest (half-)brother, Kim Jong Nam had been favorite to succeed but reportedly fell out of favour after 2001 when he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.[11]

Kim Jong-il's former chef, Kenji Fujimoto, revealed details of Kim Jong-un, with whom he shared a good relationship,[12] stating that he is favored to be his father's successor. Fujimoto also claimed that Jong-un is favored by his father over his elder brother, Jong-chul, reasoning that Jong-chul is too feminine in terms of his character, while Jong-un is "exactly like his father".[13] Furthermore Mr Fujimoto stated "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." When Jong-un was 18, Fujimoto described an episode where he 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?"[13] On January 15, 2009 the South Korean news agency, Yonhap, reported that Kim Jong-il appointed Kim Jong-un to be his successor.[14][11]

On March 8, 2009, the BBC reported rumors that Kim Jong-un appeared on the ballot for elections to the Supreme People's Assembly, the rubber stamp parliament of North Korea.[15] Subsequent reports indicate that his name did not appear on the list of lawmakers,[16] however he was later elevated to a mid-level position in the National Defense Commission, which is a branch of the North Korean Military.[17] Reports have also suggested that he is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension.[2][18]

On June 1, 2009, it was reported that Kim was to succeed his father Kim Jong-il as the head of the Korean Workers' Party and de-facto head of state of North Korea.[19] He has been named "Yŏngmyŏng-han Tongji"(영명한 동지) which loosely translates to 'Brilliant Comrade'.[20] His father had also asked embassy staff abroad to pledge loyalty to his son.[18] There have also been reports that citizens in North Korea have been 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.[21] 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.[22] The Chinese Foreign Ministry has strongly denied that this visit occurred.[23][24]

Kim Jong-Un's support of political influence has been supported by alumni from Pyongyang No. 1 Middle School, founded in 1984 as an elite educational institution.[25]

North Korea was later reported to have backed the succession plan, after Kim Jong-il suspended a propaganda campaign to promote his youngest son.[26] His birthday has since become a national holiday.[27]

See also


  1. ^ Note: until recently, Jong Eun’s name had been spelled differently in both Korean and English, causing him to become known as Jong Woon. In truth, nobody except North Korea’s highest authorities definitively know the true spelling of his name, but the South Korean media is using Eun for the time being. Daily NK.
  2. ^ a b Kim Jong-un (Kim Jong Woon) - Leadership Succession. Global July 3, 2009
  3. ^ N.Korea Heir Apparent 'Given More Auspicious Birthday'. The Chosun Ilbo. December 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Moore, Malcom. Kim Jong-un: a profile of North Korea's next leader. The Daily Telegraph. June 2, 2009
  5. ^ Sources: Kim chooses third son as heir, JoongAng Daily, June 2, 2009.
  6. ^ a b North Korean leader Kim Jong-il 'names youngest son as successor', The Guardian, June 2, 2009
  7. ^ a b Powell, Bill. North Korea's Next Kim: Dad's Favorite, Kim Jong Un, TIME, June 1, 2009
  8. ^ Die Macht des kranken Mannes, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Retrieved on March 17, 2009
  9. ^ Profile: Kim Jong-un, BBC News Online, June 2, 2009
  10. ^ Photo of Kim Jong-il’s Heir Apparent at Age of 16 Unveiled, Korea Times, June 14, 2009
  11. ^ a b Kim Jong-il's grandson seen at concert. RTHK. July 18, 2009
  12. ^ Lynn, Hyung Gu. (2007). Bipolar orders: the two Koreas since 1989. Zed Books. p. 122. ISBN 978-1842777435.
  13. ^ a b Sang-hun, Choe; Fackler, Martin. North Korea’s Heir Apparent Remains a Mystery. The New York Times. June 14, 2009
  14. ^ North Korea Newsletter No. 38 (January 22, 2009). Yonhap. January 22, 2009.
  15. ^ "N Korea holds parliamentary poll". BBC News. Retrieved on March 8, 2009.
  16. ^ "Kim Jong Il's Son, Possible Successor, Isn't Named as Lawmaker". Bloomberg L.P..
  17. ^ "In North Korea, Ailing Kim Begins Shifting Power to Military". Fox News. May 1, 2009.
  18. ^ a b Kim Jong-un: North Korea's Kim Anoints Youngest Son As Heir. Huffington Post. June 2, 2009.
  19. ^ "N Korea names Kim's successor named". BBC. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-14.  
  20. ^ North Korean leader's son is 'Brilliant Comrade' , The Jakarta Post, June 13, 2009
  21. ^ North Koreans sing praises of dynastic dictatorship - AM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  22. ^ Kim Jong Il's son 'made secret visit to China'. The Times. June 16, 2009.
  23. ^ China Dismisses Reports of Kim Jong-un Visit. The Chosun Ilbo. June 19, 2009
  24. ^ Harden, Blaine. North Korea's Kim Jong Il Chooses Youngest Son as Heir. The Washington Post. June 3, 2009
  25. ^ "김정운시대 평양제1중 출신들이 주도". Yonhap. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-07-06.  
  26. ^ Chang-Won, Lim (September 6, 2009). N Korea backs Kim's succession plan: analysts. AFP.
  27. ^ "N.Korea marks Kim jr's birthday as holiday: reports". AFP. January 8, 2010.  

External links



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