Kim Jong Un is the third supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, unofficially known as North Korea. In addition to being supreme leader, a position he took over after the death of his father, Kim is also the Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the country’s founding and leading political party.
According to American records, Kim Jong Un was born as the second of three children to opera singer Ko Yong-hui, a domestic partner of Kim Jong-il, on the 8th of January, 1984, in North Korea.
He first attended a private English-language International School in Gumligen, Bern, Switzerland under the alias Pak-chol from 1993 to 1998 where he was described as a shy basketball loving student. Conflicting reports, however, say that the student with the alias Pak-chol was, in fact, his older brother, Kim Jong-chul. It further says that the supreme leader himself attended a state school in Koniz, also near Bern, Switzerland under the alias Un-pak.
What information that has not been disputed is that after completing his studies in Switzerland, Kim headed back home to enroll at the Kim Il-sung Military University in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Kim Jong-il was said to have begun favoring Kim Jong Un as his successor after he took a liking to his temperament which was said to be similar to his own. His son, who is now a young adult, began accompanying his father on military inspections and by 2009, was listed as a candidate for the Supreme People’s Assembly while also being appointed to a post on the National Defense Commission.
He was further appointed as the head of the State Security Department and given a four-star general rank. In September of 2010, it became clear to everyone that Kim was his father’s preferred candidate to succeed him after he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party.
Kim Jong Un is married to Ri Sol-ju who is reported to be a former cheerleader and singer. The couple is said to have gotten married in 2009 and have a daughter named Ju-ae, born in 2012, together.
Ri Sol-ju’s date of birth is unknown although it is estimated that she was born between the years of 1985 and 1989. She has been spotted in public a few times, most recently in China with her husband during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife.
Kim Jong Un’s Sister
Kim Jong Un has two sisters; Kim Sol-song who was born in 1974 by Kim Jong-il’s second wife, Kim Young-sook, and Kim Yo-jong who was born in 1987 to Jong Un’s own mother.
Kim Sol-song is not very active in the runnings of North Korean politics today although, during her father’s regime, she was described as his favorite and worked at the propaganda department of the Workers’ Party Central Committee. She was also reportedly given the rank of lieutenant colonel in the North Korean People’s Army.
Kim Yo-jong, on the other hand, became known to the public when she attended a Korean Workers’Party in September 2010. She was subsequently pictured alongside her brother during their father’s funeral procession before being introduced in 2014 as a senior official in the Korean Workers’Party Central Committee.
Like her brother, Yo-jong attended school in Switzerland before returning home to enroll at the Kim Il-sung Military University. The pair maintained a very close relationship all through their life which has transitioned to her becoming an alternate member of the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. She is also in charge of the State Security Department.
In 2014, when Kim Jong Un was reportedly ill, Kim Yo-jong was said to be placed in charge of state affairs until her brother was back. Also, during the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, she became the first member of the Kim Dynasty to visit South Korea since the Korean War.
Relationship With Dennis Rodman
Kim Jong Un, who was an avid basketball fan while growing up, is a good friend of former basketball player Dennis Rodman although he was first a huge fan of his because he played on the North Korean leader’s favorite basketball team, the Chicago Bulls.
The pair first met in February 2013 when Rodman traveled to North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters for a television series. Rodman again visited the country in 2014 to play an exhibition game with retired NBA players as a birthday present for Kim.