Kim Jong-il
Leader of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Kim Jong-il
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.
Kim Jong-il's personal information overview.
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Kim Jong-il
October 18, 2012
Gangnam Style Parodies It's the wacky craze that's sweeping the globe, and now fans of South Korean rapper Psy have flooded YouTube - Gangnam Style. From politicians to schoolchildren, thousands of fun-loving friends around the world have filmed themselve
April 15, 2012
Female soldiers march during a military parade at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square on April 15, 2012, the centennial of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung.
December 20, 2011
Kim Jong Il featured on 'Daybreak' as news of his death was announced yesterday by the North Korean government. Kim Jong was greatly respected in North Korea as the Noble Leader No.1 and the inventor of the hamburger. Shown on ITV1 HD
December 19, 2011
North Korea's controversial leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, according to reports. Jong-Il passed away on a train while visiting an area outside the capital city of Pyongyang. (File Photos)
December 18, 2011
North Korea's controversial leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, according to reports. Jong-Il passed away on a train while visiting an area outside the capital city of Pyongyang. (File Photos)
November 17, 2011
Pictured: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Lee Myung-bak, President of South Korea A new poster campaign from clothing brand Benetton named Unhate has caused controversy by depicting world leaders kissing each other. Worldwide - Novemeber 2011 This is
September 25, 2011
The 22nd season of "The Simpsons" kicks off with a bang! Highlights include guest star Kiefer Sutherland saving Homer and cameos from Kobe Bryant and an animated Kim Jong Il
November 29, 2010
Effigies of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and heir-apparent Kim Jong Un are burned in Seoul, South Korea, in protest at North Korea's 23 November (10) artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island
News abour Kim Jong-il from around the web
Why would North Korea want this man dead?
CNN - 4 days
Mystery still surrounds the sudden death of Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, in Kuala Lumpur airport last week.
Article Link:
CNN article
Malaysia Arrests North Korean Man As Row Over Kim Jong Nam's Death Escalates
Huffington Post - 6 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian police said on Saturday they had arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as a diplomatic spat over his body escalated. Kim Jong Nam died this week after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport with what was thought to be a fast-acting poison. South Korean and U.S. officials have said he was assassinated by North Korea ...
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Huffington Post article
Red blooms and warm glows at Pyongyang' Kimjongilia flower show
Yahoo News - 7 days
It is, according to North Korean orthodoxy, the mountainside birthplace of Kim Jong-Il, who inherited power from his father and passed it in turn to his son, current leader Kim Jong-Un. The image of the Day of the Shining Star, as the occasion is known, is a recurring motif at the Kimjongilia flower festival in Pyongyang, appearing in mosaics and models surrounded by the eponymous red blooms. "The great leader general Kim Jong-Il was born in a secret camp on Mount Paektu," she said -– a volcano straddling the Chinese-Korean border seen as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Kim Jong Un's Murdered Brother Pleaded To Spare His Life 5 Years Ago
Huffington Post - 8 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); SEOUL, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Five years ago, Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s ruler, pleaded with his younger sibling to spare his life, according to two lawmakers in South Korea. He wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un, who took power after their father Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, and asked him to withdraw a standing order for his assassination, according to the lawmakers, who were briefed by South Korea’s spy agency. “We have nowhere to go ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Missile launch a 'gift' to honor Kim Jong Il
CNN - 9 days
While Tokyo, Washington and Beijing say North Korea's recent missile launch was meant to tweak the country's rivals, a North Korean government source says its purpose was to honor the birthday of the late Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.
Article Link:
CNN article
The Final Solution: You Name It
Huffington Post - 10 days
Istanbul was once Constantinople, reflecting the influence and reign of Constantine the Great, who sanctioned Christianity in the Roman Empire, through the Edict of Milan. Before that it was the Greek City of Byzantium. Saint Petersburg became Petrograd and then Leningrad before it went back to its original name. Volgograd was once Tsaritsyn and Stalingrad. New York was New Amsterdam and New Orleans never changed its name after become new. Parts of Canada were once New France. Zimbabwe was Rhodesia. The Belgium Congo is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But what will our world look like in a thousand years? Will Moscow become Putingrad. There are Lincoln, Illinois and Lincoln, Nebraskas. What state will name a city after the Trump dynasty which by then will have ruled for many centuries, Trumpograd? Saigon is now Ho Chi Minh City, but will Pyongyang finally be called Kim il Sung City or simply Kim Jong-un...Um? Will there ever be a geographical location named after Saturday Ni ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
North Korea sacks head of secret police amid signs of 'crack in elite'
Yahoo News - 21 days
By Ju-min Park and James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has dismissed its minister of state security, a key aide to the reclusive state's young leader, Kim Jong Un, South Korea said on Friday, in what a high-profile defector said would be another sign of a "crack in the elite" in Pyongyang if true. Kim Won Hong was removed from office as head of the feared "bowibu", or secret police, in mid-January apparently on charges of corruption, abuse of power and human rights abuses, Jeong Joon-hee, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman, said, confirming media reports. Kim Jong Un became leader in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, and his consolidation of power has included purges and executions of top officials, South Korean officials have said.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
President-Elect Trump: Have That Burger With Kim Jong-Un
Huffington Post - about 2 months
President Elect-Trump, Full disclosure: I did not vote for you, nor do I support most of your policies and positions. Yet, there was a moment at one of your rallies last June when I completely agreed with your statement that you would be ready to speak to North Korea's Kim Jong-Un over a hamburger, even while I remember that, at that time, a wide range of politicians and pundits on both the left and right vociferously mocked you for your comment, as evidence that you were a complete foreign affairs neophyte. But, as a life-long student of East Asian society and modern history, I thought you had the right instinct in contemplating a new, direct approach to the problem - particularly given the more than two decades of complete bi-partisan failure in addressing the situation in North Korea that has brought us to the dangerous brink we now face. Since the 1990's, sanctions, UN resolutions, and inspection of sea shipments have not only not halted the excesses of the North Korean regime ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Secret recordings by a kidnapped celeb couple reveal much about Kim Jong Il and North Korea
LATimes - 4 months
The voice on the tape recording is squeaky and excitable, the speaker using such a strong dialect that it is difficult even for native Korean speakers to understand. What comes across is that the man speaking in a rapid clip is anxious about his own shortcomings, and his country’s. The speaker,...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Shecky Trump
Huffington Post - 4 months
Last night's Al Smith dinner in NYC revealed the final piece of the puzzle about Donald Trump. He has no sense of humor. As a comedy writer by trade who has made his entire career out of making people laugh,  like most other comedy writers I take the job very seriously. There are all kinds of humor, both high and low and you pretty much get what you pay for.  There is no accounting for personal taste and I think what we gravitate towards, comedically reflects the things that made us laugh right out the gate. Growing up, my parent's comedy was mine too.  I grew up adoring Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, The Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, Bob and Ray, the parade of swaggering comics on Ed Sullivan like Alan King and Henny Youngman until I went my own way when youth co-opted comedy and suddenly comics were rock stars in arenas, from Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Garry Shandling to Dice Clay and man the first year of SNL- ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Adelina von Fürstenberg and ART for the World Remember Stolen Lives and Legacies
Huffington Post - 5 months
Stories on Human Rights, trailer, 2008, created and produced by ART for The World. Made in observance of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 22 three-minute films were made by some of the world's most prominent filmmakers, artists, and writers and compiled in one feature-length film with music by Michael Galasso. Read more about the film on the ART for the World website. For the past 20 years Adelina von Fürstenberg has been curating international exhibitions and screenings attended by the world leaders of democracy and totalitarian dictators alike. Associated with the United Nations Department of Information, ART for the World, a non-governmental organization (NGO) for the arts, was founded by Fürstenberg in 1995, when United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali came to the then-director of the Centre d'Art Contemporain de Genéve with the request for her to honor the founding of the United Nations with a fiftieth anniversary exhibition. ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
'The Lovers and the Despot' Review: Kim Jong Il: Mad Dictator, Cinéaste
Wall Street Journal - 5 months
A documentary recounting the North Korean leader’s quest to invigorate his country’s film industry, starting with a kidnapping.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
'The Lovers and the Despot' reveals the story of Kim Jong Il's private, kidnapped filmmakers
LATimes - 5 months
Is there a film fan anywhere who doesn't wish his or her country made better films, who couldn't sympathize with Kim Jong Il  when he's heard to say, "There's nothing new to our films. We don't have any films that get into film festivals. People here are so close-minded"? Kim Jong Il was no everyday...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kim Jong-il
  • 2011
    It was reported that Kim Jong-il had died of a suspected heart attack on 17 December 2011 at 8:30a.m. while traveling by train to an area outside Pyongyang.
    More Details Hide Details It was reported in December 2012, however, that he had died "in a fit of rage" over construction faults at a crucial power plant project at Huichon in Jagang Province. He was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un, who was hailed by the Korean Central News Agency as the "Great Successor". According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), during his death a fierce snowstorm paused and the sky glowed red above the sacred Mount Paektu. The ice on a famous lake also cracked so loud that it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth. Kim Jong-il's funeral took place on 28 December in Pyongyang, with a mourning period lasting until the following day. South Korea's military was immediately put on alert after the announcement and its National Security Council convened for an emergency meeting, out of concern that political jockeying in North Korea could destabilise the region. Asian stock markets fell soon after the announcement, due to similar concerns.
    In a 2011 news story, The Sun reported "Kim Jong-il was obsessed with Elvis Presley.
    More Details Hide Details His mansion was crammed with his idol's records and his collection of 20,000 Hollywood movies included Presley's titlesalong with Rambo and Godzilla. He even copied the King's Vegas-era look of giant shades, jumpsuits and bouffant hairstyle. It was reported in 2003 that Kim Jong-il had a huge porn film collection." Although Kim enjoyed many foreign forms of entertainment, according to former bodyguard Lee Young Kuk, he refused to consume any food or drink not produced in North Korea, with the exception of wine from France. His former chef Kenji Fujimoto, however, has stated that Kim sometimes sent him around the world to purchase a variety of foreign delicacies. Kim reportedly enjoyed basketball. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ended her summit with Kim by presenting him with a basketball signed by NBA legend Michael Jordan. His official biography also claims that Kim composed six operas and enjoys staging elaborate musicals. Kim referred to himself as an Internet expert.
    On 19 December 2011 Roux confirmed that Kim suffered a debilitating stroke in 2008 and was treated by himself and other French doctors at Pyongyang's Red Cross Hospital.
    More Details Hide Details Roux said Kim suffered few lasting effects.
    In late August 2011, he traveled by train to the Russian Far East to meet with President Dmitry Medvedev for unspecified talks.
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    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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  • 2010
    On 28 September 2010, Kim was re-elected as General secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
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    Kim travelled to China again in August 2010, this time with his son, fueling speculation that he is ready to hand over power to his son, Kim Jong-un.
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    In May 2010, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told South Korean officials that Kim had only three years to live.
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    Kim reportedly visited the People's Republic of China in May 2010.
    More Details Hide Details He entered the country via his personal train on 3 May, and stayed in a hotel in Dalian.
  • 2009
    On 9 April 2009, Kim was re-elected as chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, and made an appearance at the Supreme People's Assembly.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first time Kim was seen in public since August 2008. He was unanimously re-elected and given a standing ovation.
    On 2 June 2009, it was reported that Kim Jong-il's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, was to be North Korea's next leader.
    More Details Hide Details Like his father and grandfather, he has also been given an official sobriquet, The Brilliant Comrade. Prior to his death, it had been reported that Kim Jong-il was expected to officially designate the son as his successor in 2012.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010, documents released by WikiLeaks purportedly attested that Kim suffered from epilepsy. According to The Daily Telegraph, Kim was a chain-smoker. Kim's three sons and his brother-in-law, along with O Kuk-ryol, an army general, had been noted as possible successors, but the North Korean government had for a time been wholly silent on this matter. Kim Yong Hyun, a political expert at the Institute for North Korean Studies at Seoul's Dongguk University, said in 2007, "Even the North Korean establishment would not advocate a continuation of the family dynasty at this point." Kim's eldest son Kim Jong-nam was earlier believed to be the designated heir but he appears to have fallen out of favor after being arrested at Narita International Airport near Tokyo in 2001 where he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
  • 2008
    In November 2008, Japan's TBS TV network reported that Kim had suffered a second stroke in October, which "affected the movement of his left arm and leg and also his ability to speak."
    More Details Hide Details However, South Korea's intelligence agency rejected this report.
    On 5 November 2008, the North's Korean Central News Agency published 2 photos showing Kim posing with dozens of Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers on a visit to military Unit 2200 and sub-unit of Unit 534.
    More Details Hide Details Shown with his usual bouffant hairstyle, with his trademark sunglasses and a white winter parka, Kim stood in front of trees with autumn foliage and a red-and-white banner. The Times questioned the authenticity of at least one of these photos.
    The New York Times reported that Taro Aso, on 28 October 2008, stated in a parliamentary session that Kim had been hospitalized: "His condition is not so good.
    More Details Hide Details However, I don't think he is totally incapable of making decisions." Aso further said a French neurosurgeon was aboard a plane for Beijing, en route to North Korea. Further, Kim Sung-ho, director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers in a closed parliamentary session in Seoul that "Kim appeared to be recovering quickly enough to start performing his daily duties." The Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported "a serious problem" with Kim's health. Japan's Fuji Television network reported that Kim's eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, traveled to Paris to hire a neurosurgeon for his father, and showed footage where the surgeon boarded flight CA121 bound for Pyongyang from Beijing on 24 October. The French weekly Le Point identified him as Francois-Xavier Roux, neurosurgery director of Paris' Sainte-Anne Hospital, but Roux himself stated he was in Beijing for several days and not North Korea.
    By 29 October 2008, reports stated Kim suffered a serious setback and had been taken back to hospital.
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    On 9 September 2008, various sources reported that after he did not show up that day for a military parade celebrating North Korea's 60th anniversary, United States intelligence agencies believed Kim might be "gravely ill" after having suffered a stroke.
    More Details Hide Details He had last been seen in public a month earlier. A former CIA official said earlier reports of a health crisis were likely accurate. North Korean media remained silent on the issue. An Associated Press report said analysts believed Kim had been supporting moderates in the foreign ministry, while North Korea's powerful military was against so-called "Six-Party" negotiations with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States aimed towards ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons. Some United States officials noted that soon after rumours about Kim's health were publicized a month before, North Korea had taken a "tougher line in nuclear negotiations." In late August North Korea's official news agency reported the government would "consider soon a step to restore the nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon to their original state as strongly requested by its relevant institutions." Analysts said this meant "the military may have taken the upper hand and that Kim might no longer be wielding absolute authority." By 10 September, there were conflicting reports. Unidentified South Korean government officials said Kim had undergone surgery after suffering a minor stroke and had apparently "intended to attend 9 September event in the afternoon but decided not to because of the aftermath of the surgery." High-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong-nam said, "While we wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country with general secretary Kim Jong-Il, we celebrated on our own." Song Il-Ho, North Korea's ambassador said, "We see such reports as not only worthless, but rather as a conspiracy plot."
    It was also noted that Kim Jong-il did not appear in public for the Olympic torch relay in Pyongyang on 28 April 2008.
    More Details Hide Details The question had reportedly "baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years."
    Following Kim's failure to appear at important public events in 2008, foreign observers assumed that Kim had either fallen seriously ill or died.
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  • 2004
    Shigemura moreover claimed a voiceprint analysis of Kim speaking in 2004 did not match a known earlier recording.
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    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."
    More Details Hide Details Kim's government was accused of "crimes against humanity" for its alleged culpability in creating and prolonging the 1990s famine. In an August 2008 issue of the Japanese newsweekly Shūkan Gendai, Waseda University professor Toshimitsu Shigemura, an authority on the Korean Peninsula, claimed that Kim Jong-il died of diabetes in late 2003 and had been replaced in public appearances by one or more stand-ins previously employed to protect him from assassination attempts. In a subsequent best-selling book, The True Character of Kim Jong-il, Shigemura cited apparently unnamed people close to Kim's family along with Japanese and South Korean intelligence sources, claiming they confirmed Kim's diabetes took a turn for the worse early in 2000 and from then until his supposed death three and a half years later he was using a wheelchair.
  • 2002
    In 2002, Kim Jong-il's government admitted to having produced nuclear weapons since the 1994 agreement.
    More Details Hide Details Kim's regime argued the secret production was necessary for security purposesciting the presence of United States-owned nuclear weapons in South Korea and the new tensions with the United States under President George W. Bush. On 9 October 2006, North Korea's Korean Central News Agency announced that it had successfully conducted an underground nuclear test. Kim Jong-il was the focus of an elaborate personality cult inherited from his father and founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il was often the centre of attention throughout ordinary life in the DPRK. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country on the occasion of his Hwangab. In 2010, the North Korean media reported that Kim's distinctive clothing had set worldwide fashion trends. The prevailing point of view is that the people's adherence to Kim Jong-il's cult of personality was solely out of respect for Kim Il-sung or out of fear of punishment for failure to pay homage. Media and government sources from outside North Korea generally support this view, while North Korean government sources aver that it was genuine hero worship. The song "No Motherland Without You", sung by the KPA State Merited Choir, was created especially for Kim in 1992 and is frequently broadcast on the radio and from loudspeakers on the streets of Pyongyang.
  • 1998
    In 1998, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung implemented the "Sunshine Policy" to improve North-South relations and to allow South Korean companies to start projects in the North.
    More Details Hide Details Kim Jong-il announced plans to import and develop new technologies to develop North Korea's fledgling software industry. As a result of the new policy, the Kaesong Industrial Park was constructed in 2003 just north of the de-militarized zone, with the planned participation of 250 South Korean companies, employing 100,000 North Koreans, by 2007. However, by March 2007, the Park contained only 21 companiesemploying 12,000 North Korean workers. In 1994, North Korea and the United States signed an Agreed Framework which was designed to freeze and eventually dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid in producing two power-generating nuclear reactors.
    Also in 1998, the Supreme People's Assembly wrote the president's post out of the constitution and designated Kim Il-sung as the country's "Eternal President" in order to honor his memory forever.
    More Details Hide Details It can be argued, though, that Kim Jong-il became the country's undisputed leader when he became leader of the Workers' Party; in most Communist countries the party leader is the most powerful person in the country. Officially, Kim was part of a triumvirate heading the executive branch of the North Korean government along with Premier Choe Yong-rim and parliament chairman Kim Yong-nam (no relation). Each nominally held powers equivalent to a third of a president's powers in most other presidential systems. Kim Jong-il commanded the armed forces, Choe Yong-rim headed the government and handled domestic affairs and Kim Yong-nam handled foreign relations. In practice, however, Kim Jong-il exercised absolute control over the government and the country. Although not required to stand for popular election to his key offices, he was unanimously elected to the Supreme People's Assembly every five years, representing a military constituency, due to his concurrent capacities as supreme commander of the KPA and chairman of the NDC.
    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.
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  • 1997
    He officially took over his father's old post as General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea on 8 October 1997.
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  • 1994
    Kim kept both the relationship and the child a secret (even from his father) until he ascended to power in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details However, after years of estrangement, Song is believed to have died in Moscow in the Central Clinical Hospital in 2002. Kim's official wife, Kim Young-sook, was the daughter of a high-ranking military official. His father Kim Il-Sung handpicked her to marry his son. The two were estranged for some years before Kim's death. Kim had a daughter from this marriage, Kim Sul-song (born 1974). His second mistress, Ko Yong-hui, was a Japanese-born ethnic Korean and a dancer. She had taken over the role of First Lady until her deathreportedly of cancerin 2004. They had two sons, Kim Jong-chul, in 1981, and Kim Jong-un (also "Jong Woon" or "Jong Woong"), in 1983. They also had a daughter, Kim Yo-jong, who was about 23 years old in 2012. After Ko's death, Kim lived with Kim Ok, his third mistress, who had served as his personal secretary since the 1980s. She "virtually acts as North Korea's first lady" and frequently accompanied Kim on his visits to military bases and in meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. She traveled with Kim Jong-il on a secretive trip to China in January 2006, where she was received by Chinese officials as Kim's wife.
    On 8 July 1994, Kim il-sung died at the age of 82 from a heart attack.
    More Details Hide Details Although Kim Jong-il had been his father's designated successor as early as 1974 and was the undisputed heir apparent since 1991, it took him more than three years to consolidate his power.
  • 1993
    He was named Chairman of the National Defence Commission on 9 April 1993, making him day-to-day commander of the armed forces.
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  • 1992
    In 1992, Kim Jong-il made his first public speech during a military parade for the KPA's 60th anniversary and said: "Glory to the officers and soldiers of the heroic Korean People's Army!" These words were followed by a loud applause by the crowd at Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung Square were the parade was held.
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    In 1992, Kim Il-sung publicly stated that his son was in charge of all internal affairs in the Democratic People's Republic.
    More Details Hide Details In 1992, radio broadcasts started referring to him as the "Dear Father", instead of the "Dear Leader", suggesting a promotion. His 50th birthday in February was the occasion for massive celebrations, exceeded only by those for the 80th birthday of Kim Il-sung himself on 15 April that same year. According to defector Hwang Jang-yop, the North Korean government system became even more centralized and autocratic during the 1980s and 1990s under Kim Jong-il than it had been under his father. In one example explained by Hwang, although Kim Il-sung required his ministers to be loyal to him, he nonetheless and frequently sought their advice during decision-making. In contrast, Kim Jong-il demanded absolute obedience and agreement from his ministers and party officials with no advice or compromise, and he viewed any slight deviation from his thinking as a sign of disloyalty. According to Hwang, Kim Jong-il personally directed even minor details of state affairs, such as the size of houses for party secretaries and the delivery of gifts to his subordinates.
  • 1991
    On 24 December 1991, Kim was also named Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.
    More Details Hide Details Since the Army is the real foundation of power in North Korea, this was a vital step. Defence Minister Oh Jin-wu, one of Kim Il-sung's most loyal subordinates, engineered Kim Jong-il's acceptance by the Army as the next leader of North Korea, despite his lack of military service. The only other possible leadership candidate, Prime Minister Kim Il (no relation), was removed from his posts in 1976.
  • 1983
    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.
    More Details Hide Details A North Korean agent, Kim Hyon Hui, confessed to planting a bomb in the case of the second, saying the operation was ordered by Kim Jong-il personally.
  • 1980
    Prior to 1980, he had no public profile and was referred to only as the "Party Centre".
    More Details Hide Details At this time Kim assumed the title "Dear Leader" the government began building a personality cult around him patterned after that of his father, the "Great Leader". Kim Jong-il was regularly hailed by the media as the "fearless leader" and "the great successor to the revolutionary cause". He emerged as the most powerful figure behind his father in North Korea.
  • 1974
    According to his official biography, the WPK Central Committee had already anointed him successor to Kim Il-sung in February 1974.
    More Details Hide Details When he was made a member of the Seventh Supreme People's Assembly in February 1982, international observers deemed him the heir apparent of North Korea.
  • 1970
    This relationship, started in 1970, was not officially recognized.
    More Details Hide Details They had one son, Kim Jong-nam (born 1971) who is Kim Jong-il's eldest son.
  • 1957
    In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch (the chairman had to be a teacher).
    More Details Hide Details He pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates. Kim is also said to have received English language education at the University of Malta in the early 1970s, on his infrequent holidays in Malta as guest of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. The elder Kim had meanwhile remarried and had another son, Kim Pyong-il. Since 1988, Kim Pyong-il has served in a series of North Korean embassies in Europe and was the North Korean ambassador to Poland. Foreign commentators suspect that Kim Pyong-il was sent to these distant posts by his father in order to avoid a power struggle between his two sons. By the time of the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim Jong-il's control of the Party operation was complete. He was given senior posts in the Politburo, the Military Commission and the party Secretariat.
  • 1950
    According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960.
    More Details Hide Details He attended Primary School No. 4 and Middle School No. 1 (Namsan Higher Middle School) in Pyongyang. This is contested by foreign academics, who believe he is more likely to have received his early education in the People's Republic of China as a precaution to ensure his safety during the Korean War. Throughout his schooling, Kim was involved in politics. He was active in the Korean Children's Union and the Democratic Youth League of North Korea (DYL), taking part in study groups of Marxist political theory and other literature.
  • 1948
    Kim Jong-il's brother drowned there in 1948.
    More Details Hide Details Reports indicate that his mother died in childbirth in 1949.
  • 1945
    In 1945, Kim was four years old when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan.
    More Details Hide Details His father returned to Pyongyang that September, and in late November Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong. The family moved into a former Japanese officer's mansion in Pyongyang, with a garden and pool.
  • 1942
    However, Kim Jong-il's official biography states he was born in a secret military camp on Paektu Mountain (Baekdusan Miryeong Gohyang jip) in Japanese-occupied Korea on 16 February 1942.
    More Details Hide Details According to one comrade of Kim's mother, Lee Min, word of Kim's birth first reached an army camp in Vyatskoye via radio and that both Kim and his mother did not return there until the following year.
  • 1941
    Soviet records show that Kim was born Yuri Irsenovich Kim (Jurij Irsenovič Kim) in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941, where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles.
    More Details Hide Details Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife. Inside his family, he was nicknamed Yura, while his younger brother Kim Man-il (born Alexander Irsenovich Kim) was nicknamed Shura.
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