Kim Jong-il

Leader of Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Kim Jong-il, also romanised as Kim Jong Il, was the supreme leader of North Korea (DPRK) from 1994 to 2011. He succeeded his father and founder of the DPRK Kim Il-sung following the elder Kim's death in 1994.

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Kim Jong-il.

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    President Elect Trump: Have That Burger With Kim Jong Un
    Huffington Post - 11 days ago
  • Secret Recordings By A Kidnapped Celeb Couple Reveal Much About Kim Jong Il And North Korea
    LATimes - Oct 27, 2016
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    Shecky Trump
    Huffington Post - Oct 25, 2016
  • Adelina Von Fürstenberg And Art For The World Remember Stolen Lives And Legacies
    Huffington Post - Oct 07, 2016


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Kim Jong-il.


1941 - 1942 2 More Events
1945 4 Years Old In 1945, Kim was four years old when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan. … Read More
1948 7 Years Old Kim Jong-il's brother drowned there in 1948. … Read More
1950 9 Years Old According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960. … Read More


1957 16 Years Old In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch (the chairman had to be a teacher). … Read More


1970 29 Years Old …  This relationship, started in 1970, was not officially recognized. … Read More


1974 33 Years Old According to his official biography, the WPK Central Committee had already anointed him successor to Kim Il-sung in February 1974. … Read More
1980 39 Years Old Prior to 1980, he had no public profile and was referred to only as the "Party Centre". … Read More


1983 42 Years Old South Korea accused Kim of ordering the 1983 bombing in Rangoon, Burma which killed 17 visiting South Korean officials, including four cabinet members, and another in 1987 which killed all 115 on board Korean Air Flight 858. … Read More


1991 50 Years Old On 24 December 1991, Kim was also named Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army. … Read More
1992 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1992, Kim Il-sung publicly stated that his son was in charge of all internal affairs in the Democratic People's Republic. … Read More
1993 52 Years Old He was named Chairman of the National Defence Commission on 9 April 1993, making him day-to-day commander of the armed forces.
1994 53 Years Old 1 More Event
On 8 July 1994, Kim il-sung died at the age of 82 from a heart attack. … Read More
1997 56 Years Old He officially took over his father's old post as General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea on 8 October 1997.
In 1998, he was reelected as chairman of the National Defence Commission, and a constitutional amendment declared that post to be "the highest post of the state"; most sources outside North Korea reckoned Kim as North Korea's head of state from that date.


2002 61 Years Old In 2002, Kim Jong-il's government admitted to having produced nuclear weapons since the 1994 agreement. … Read More
2004 63 Years Old 1 More Event
According to a 2004 Human Rights Watch report, the North Korean government under Kim was "among the world's most repressive governments", having up to 200,000 political prisoners according to U.S. and South Korean officials, with no freedom of the press or religion, political opposition or equal education: "Virtually every aspect of political, social, and economic life is controlled by the government." … Read More
…  Following Kim's failure to appear at important public events in 2008, foreign observers assumed that Kim had either fallen seriously ill or died.
In response to the rumors regarding Kim's health and supposed loss of power, in April 2009, North Korea released a video showing Kim visiting factories and other places around the country between November and December 2008. … Read More
Kim reportedly visited the People's Republic of China in May 2010. … Read More
He returned to China again in May 2011, marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK.
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