Kim Jong Un (eastern spelling Kim Jong-un) is the political leader of North Korea. Often called the supreme leader by his government and media, Kim inherited the office following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011. Officially Kim Jong-un has the title of Chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea. He is seen as more than a political leader by his people and like a king or even a perfect being.
The exact birthdate of Kim Jong Un remains unknown and has not ever been confirmed by the North Korean government. Kim’s birthdate is believed to fall between January 8, 1982 and July 5, 1984.
Kim is an atheist, someone that doesn’t believe in a God.
North Korea is a country where the state discourages religious beliefs amongst its’ population. There are three Christian churches and at least one mosque in Pyongyang, but are used by a very small slice of North Koreans. Staff from diplomatic embassies and foreign visitors also visit these places for their own worship needs.
Chondoism is North Korea’s official state endorsed religious belief. Believers adhere that it is up to one’s own self to better themselves and their community, and that there is no afterlife awaiting people.
There are believed to be small groups that follow the faiths of Buddhism and Christianity. However, the numbers are believed to be less than 5% of the country’s population. (1)
North Korea is seen by some to be the worst country in the world for persecuting Christians. In 2016 the state banned the celebration of Christmas.
Kim is called the supreme leader by North Koreans and chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea. According to the North Korean government they adhere to the principles of communism, which is rule by a country’s people. However, democratic countries see North Korea functioning as more of a totalitarian state, with Kim Jong-un as a dictator.
Freedom of the press is not allowed in North Korea. The government controls the peoples’ access to information from outside of North Korea’s borders.
Kim Jong Un is the third member of the Kim family to lead North Korea. His grandfather, Kim Il-sung, held rule in North Korea for five decades before passing in 1994. Kim Jong Il, Il Sung’s son and Jong Un’s father, became chairman in 1997 until his death in 2011. Kim Jong Un became chairman in 2016.
Kim is married to Ri Sol Ju. As is the case with nearly all facts surrounding their leader, North Korea is secretive as to the precise year Kim and Ri were married. Her first appearance as the wife of North Korea’s chairman was in July 2012, but western intelligence puts their marriage occurring sometime in 2009. (2)
Western intelligence believes that Kim Jong Un has at least two daughters. Kim may be the father of several other children with different women.
Kim has a sister named Yo Jong who serves as his press handler. An older half-brother, Jong Nam, was assassinated in February 2017 by a nerve agent while he was walking through Kuala Lampur Airport. (3)
There is also another older brother named Kim Jong Chol. Jong Chol is a full brother by blood to Jong Un. The west had assumed Jong Chul would inherit the leadership of North Korea following his father’s death. Rumors surround Jong Chul that he was “too girly” and did not possess his father’s sense of iron command, which is why the power went to younger brother Jong Un instead. (4)
Essentially North Korea’s leader for life, Kim Jong Un has incredible political and economic power in North Korea. His family’s wealth is estimated to be worth around $5 billion dollars US.