The Wealth and Power of Kim Jong-un: A Biography of the North Korean Leader

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok, Russia April 25, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader of North Korea, who inherited power from his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. Born on January 8, 1984, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Kim Jong-un is the third generation of his family to rule the country. His grandfather, Kim Il-sung, founded North Korea in 1948, and his father, Kim Jong-il, ruled the country from 1994 until his death in 2011.

Despite being a notoriously secretive and reclusive leader, there have been some estimates of Kim Jong-un’s wealth, which is believed to be in the billions of dollars. According to some reports, he controls a vast network of state-owned companies and enterprises that generate revenue through exports of natural resources such as coal, iron, and minerals. He is also said to control a massive slush fund that he uses to maintain his lavish lifestyle and fund his nuclear weapons program.

Kim Jong-un’s regime has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings. The country is also known for its extreme censorship and suppression of political dissent, with the media and the internet strictly controlled by the government.

Despite these criticisms, Kim Jong-un has maintained a firm grip on power, using his family’s cult of personality and propaganda to reinforce his rule. He has also made some efforts to improve relations with South Korea and the United States, including holding historic summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump.

Overall, Kim Jong-un’s rule in North Korea is characterized by authoritarianism, human rights abuses, and an obsession with nuclear weapons. His personal wealth remains difficult to quantify, but it is clear that he exercises immense control over North Korea’s economy and resources, to the detriment of the country’s people.

Here’s a timeline of significant events in the life and reign of Kim Jong-un:

  • January 8, 1984: Kim Jong-un is born in Pyongyang, North Korea, the third son of future North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
  • September 1998: Kim Jong-un reportedly begins attending a Swiss boarding school under a pseudonym.
  • December 17, 2011: Following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un is declared the new supreme leader of North Korea.
  • December 12, 2013: Kim Jong-un orders the execution of his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, for alleged treason and corruption.
  • January 6, 2016: North Korea claims to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, sparking international condemnation.
  • February 12, 2017: North Korea conducts a ballistic missile test, its first since the election of US President Donald Trump.
  • April 15, 2017: North Korea holds a massive military parade to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder, and showcases its military hardware, including what appears to be new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • November 28, 2017: North Korea tests an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the United States mainland.
  • April 27, 2018: Kim Jong-un crosses the demilitarized zone and meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, marking the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade.
  • June 12, 2018: Kim Jong-un meets with US President Donald Trump in Singapore for a historic summit, the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
  • February 28, 2019: Kim Jong-un and US President Trump meet in Hanoi, Vietnam for a second summit, but the talks end abruptly without an agreement.
  • June 30, 2019: Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in hold an impromptu meeting at the demilitarized zone, raising hopes for renewed diplomacy.
  • January 1, 2020: In his New Year’s address, Kim Jong-un warns that North Korea will no longer be bound by a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.
  • January 5, 2021: Kim Jong-un is elected as the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, consolidating his power further.
  • March 25, 2021: North Korea conducts its first ballistic missile test in a year, raising tensions with the international community.
  • January 12, 2022: North Korea successfully tests a hypersonic missile, claiming it has achieved a major breakthrough in its military capabilities.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events in Kim Jong-un’s life and reign as the leader of North Korea.

5 Interesting Facts About Kim Jong-un:

  1. Kim Jong-un is a fan of American basketball and reportedly idolizes former NBA player Michael Jordan.
  2. In 2013, Kim Jong-un ordered the construction of a new ski resort in North Korea, despite the country’s widespread poverty.
  3. Kim Jong-un is believed to have attended school in Switzerland under a pseudonym, where he reportedly became fluent in English and German.
  4. In 2018, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the demilitarized zone and enter South Korea.
  5. According to a former North Korean bodyguard, Kim Jong-un is a heavy drinker and is known to indulge in expensive alcohol.

5 Quotes From Kim Jong-un:

  1. “Let us usher in a heyday of peace, prosperity, and reunification of the Korean Peninsula by thoroughly implementing the historic North-South declarations!”
  2. “We will always safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the world with our powerful nuclear deterrence.”
  3. “The country will, as always, respond to acts of war with relentless retaliation and war of justice.”
  4. “Our revolutionary force is ready to respond to any kind of war that the US imperialists want.”
  5. “The national defense industry is a treasured sword of the revolution and a powerful means of defending the country’s sovereignty and dignity.”

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