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30 Interesting Facts About Kim Jong-un – The Supreme Leader of North Korea

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Kim Jong-un, the Chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea, belongs to the famous Kim Dynasty, who are celebrated as royalty in Korea. Here are 30 interesting facts about the leader:

  1. Jong-un is the third generation Kim to assume power in North Korea after the death of his father in 2011.
  2. He is believed to be the youngest head of the state in the world, when he was officially declared the supreme leader of North Korea on December 28, 2011.
  3. At the age of 32 or 33 years, as born on 8 January 1984 or 5 July 1984, he is the first North Korean leader said to have been born after the country’s founding.
  4. The Kim Dynasty, also officially known as the “Mount Paektu Bloodline”, has lead North Korea for three generations, beginning with the country’s first leader Kim Il-sung, succeeded by his eldest son Kim Jong-il, who is succeeded by his third son Kim Jong-un.
  5. Kim Jong-un was a mystery to Western media until it was speculated that he will succeed his father. Much about the early life of the leader, to the extent of his birth date, is under speculation. He is the youngest of the three sons and also has a younger sister Kim Yo-jong.
  6. Though his father had more than two partners, Ko Yong-hui, Jong-un’s mother, an opera singer, was the "de facto First Lady of North Korea."
  7. According to his father’s personal cook, Kenji Fujimoto, the then leader had always considered only Jong-un rather than his 2 other elder sons as his successor.
  8. As a kid Jong-un was obsessed with computer games, basket ball, and would spend hours meticulously pencil sketching Michael Jordan.
  9. Jong-un’s older half brother, Kim Jong-nam, had a fall out with the family in 2001, as he was caught trying to visit Japan’s Tokyo Disneyland with a fake passport and had been in exile for many years. Even while in exile, in 2011, Jong-nam expressed his displeasure and wanted North Korea to transit from his family’s dynasty and also criticized his brother’s leadership.
  10. It is not clear as to which school in Switzerland did Jong-un complete his studies or if he had used a pseudonym to do so. However, it is believed that all the three sons of Kim Jong-il, are said to have been living in Switzerland at the same time of schooling.
  11. He was ranked 46th in the Forbes 2013 list of The World's Most Powerful People. He holds a number of titles in North Korea - Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the National Defence Commission, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.
  12. From 2002–2007, Jong-un attended, a leading officer-training school in the capital of Pyongyang, the Kim Il-sung University, named after his grandfather. He had attained 2 degrees, in physics and as a military officer at the University. He was awarded an Honorary Economics Doctorate, in 2013, from a private university in Malaysia, HELP University.
  13. Jong-un is a big drinker, loves Johnnie Walker whisky and smokes Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes.
  14. His father had planned a series of propaganda for smooth power transition as to when Jong-un succeeds. The Embassy staff abroad had also been sworn to loyalty.
  15. He was made a four star US general “daejang” in 2010, though he had no previous military experience, and was appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party and named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.
  16. The people of North Korea hero worship the Kims and each Kim has a “song of praise.” He was christened as "Yŏngmyŏng-han Tongji," loosely translated as a "Brilliant Comrade."
  17. To enable smooth succession of power and to avoid future rivalry to his son, Jong-il during his regime, purged some 200 protégés of the then vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, O Kuk-ryol, and his brother-in-law, Jang Sung-taek, either by execution or detention.
  18. In spite of all these agendas, due to Jong-un’s limited experience, there was heavy speculation as to who will succeed Jong-il after his death in late 2011.
  19. On 24th December 2011, Jong-un was publically declared as the Korean People's Army’s Supreme Commander and was formally appointed on 30th December.
  20. To demonstrate loyalty and to honor him the Korean People's Army held a large rally in front of Kumsusan Memorial Palace, on 9th January 2012.
  21. According to the South Korean media, his older half brother Jong-nam was assassinated by two unidentified women, allegedly North Korean agents, in Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, with poisoned needles.
  22. After becoming the Supreme Commander, he purged many of the senior officials, even his uncle who has been top advisors to his father. In 2013, Jang Sung-taek, his uncle, was arrested for treason and for being a threat to over throw Jong-un’s government.
  23. Jang Sung-taek is believed to be put down by a firing squad and his family the Jang clan including his sister with her family, sons and grandsons etc., have been executed. The state media claims that the said execution was a warning that the army "will never pardon all those who disobey the order of the Supreme Commander."
  24. It is said that he married Ri Sol-ju in the year 2009, after his father Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke in 2008. The couple is reported to have a daughter named Ju-ae, however there are speculations of more children too.
  25. Jong-Un while assuming power inherited a national policy called the “Songun,” known for prioritizing its welfare over that of civilians and the largest armed forces which ranks fourth worldwide.
  26. Jong-un favors the cyber generation and has broken his father’s approach towarda the media. His father’s speeches were never televised.
  27. Near a manmade lake, built of Korean syllable blocks, constructed to serve as a hydroelectric station, in 2007, in the hillside of Ryanggang Province was carved a propaganda message, some half-kilometer-long, "Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun!."
  28. According to the various media reports, Kim Jong-un went to the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in Köniz near Bern, enrolled by the name of "Pak-un" or "Un-pak." It was reported that he registered with the school as the son of a North Korean embassy employee in Bern.
  29. Though Jong-un made many economic reforms and uplifted the standard of living of the people, the Human Rights violation and abuses have been said to the same in North Korea.
  30. Since his promotion to the rank of Marshal in the year 2012, he is referred to as either “The Marshal,” or “Marshal Kim Jong-un,” by the North Korean state media.

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