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Highlights on Kim Jong Un

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a glimpse into the life of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Date of Birth: January 8 (He is widely believed to be in his thirties, although the year of birth is not publicly available.)

Dad: Kim Jong Il

Mother: Ko Yonghui

Marriage: Ri Sol Ju

Children: Ju Ae and apparently two others

Education: Kim Il Sung Military Academy, 2002-2007

Other facts

Youngest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.


April 2009 – Appointed to the National Defense Commission of North Korea.

September 28, 2010 Promoted to four-star general and appointed vice chairman of the Central Military Commission as well as the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

October 9, 2010 Kim Jong Nam, eldest son of Kim Jong Il, tells Japanese TV Asahi that he opposes the hereditary transfer of power for a third generation. These are his first comments since the promotion of Kim Jong Un, his half-brother.

December 17, 2011 – Kim Jong Il dies aged 69.

December 28, 2011 Accompanies the body of Kim Jong Il during the funeral procession through Pyongyang.

December 31, 2011 Takes command of the North Korean army. The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that power was transferred to him on October 8 at the request of his father.

April 15, 2012 – Speaks to hundreds of soldiers and others in Pyongyang as part of a celebration marking 100 years since the birth of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung, his grandfather. Kim’s speech is his first televised speech since assuming the leadership of the country.

June 6, 2012 Delivers his second public address, addressing tens of thousands of children in Pyongyang on the 66th anniversary of the Korean Children’s Union. It is believed that his father, Kim Jong Il, did only one brief broadcast throughout his reign.

July 18, 2012 – Kim is given the title of Marshal of the Army. This is the latest in a series of measures aimed at reconfiguring the senior ranks of the North Korean military. The announcement follows the dismissal of army chief Ri Yong Ho.

March 2013 – Home to former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman.

September 8, 2013 – Upon returning from his second trip to North Korea, Rodman said he was holding “baby Ju Ae” and described Kim as “a good dad.”

January 8, 2014 – Rodman sings “Happy Birthday” to Kim before he and other former NBA players take on the North Koreans in an exhibition game.

March 9, 2014 – Kim was unanimously elected deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK, with a turnout of 100%.

September-October 2014 – Kim disappears from public view for about six weeks, reportedly to have a cyst removed from her right ankle.

July 2015 – South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Kim had executed 70 officials since taking power in late 2011.

December 10, 2015 – According to state media KCNA, Kim claims North Korea has added the hydrogen bomb to its nuclear arsenal. But outside observers are skeptical, saying such a breakthrough in nuclear technology seems unlikely.

July 6, 2016 – The Obama administration imposes sanctions on Kim and 10 other regime officials for their alleged complicity in human rights abuses against the North Korean people. The move marks the first time Washington has personally sanctioned Kim.

September 21, 2016 – South Korea’s defense minister announces that South Korea has elite troops ready to assassinate Kim if the country feels threatened by North Korean nuclear weapons.

December 29, 2016 – A South Korean think tank releases a report detailing the leader’s use of executions to retain power. According to the report, 340 people have been executed in five years.

January 1, 2017 – In a televised address, Kim says North Korea is almost ready to start testing intercontinental ballistic missiles.

February 13, 2017 – Kim Jong Nam dies after being poisoned at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. South Korea’s intelligence agency later said Kim ordered his death.

September 22, 2017 – After US President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States was forced to defend itself or an ally. Kim makes a rare blunt statement on North Korean television, saying Trump “will pay dearly” and “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged American moron with fire.”

February 10, 2018 – Officially invites South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit North Korea. Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong Un, presents the invitation at the presidential palace in Seoul, marking the first visit by a member of the northern ruling dynasty since the Korean War, which ended in an armistice in 1953.

March 8, 2018 – The White House announces that Trump has agreed to meet with Kim. The talks would be the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

March 25-28, 2018 – Kim makes a surprise trip to Beijing and meets President Xi Jinping, Chinese state media confirm. The trip is Kim’s first overseas since taking over the reins following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011.

April 18, 2018 – Trump confirms that CIA Director Mike Pompeo visited North Korea and secretly met with Kim. A White House official told CNN the meeting took place over Easter weekend.

April 27, 2018 – During a one-day summit, Kim and Moon pledge to officially end the Korean War, 65 years after the end of hostilities. The Punmunjom Declaration also calls for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

May 26, 2018 – Holds a surprise meeting with Moon, their second meeting in a month, in the demilitarized zone, the South Korean presidency said in a statement, days after Trump called off a June 12 summit with Kim.

June 12, 2018 – Meeting Trump for nearly five hours in Singapore, the first time the sitting leaders of the United States and North Korea have met. The two leaders sign a statement that reads, “President Trump has pledged to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and President Kim Jong Un has reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to completing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

September 18-20, 2018 – Meeting with Moon in Pyongyang, the third summit in 2018 between the two leaders and the first time since 2007 that a South Korean president has visited North Korea.

February 27-28, 2019 – Kim and Trump meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, but the summit ends without a joint agreement after Kim insists that all US sanctions against North Korea be lifted.

April 25, 2019 – Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold their first-ever summit in the Russian city of Vladivostok. Following their meeting, Putin and Kim make very brief statements saying that they exchanged opinions on the Korean conflict and thank each other for coming.

June 30, 2019 – Kim greets Trump at the border between North Korea and South Korea. Trump becomes the first sitting president to enter North Korea. He takes 20 steps over the border and shakes hands with Kim. Although the US and North Korean governments tout the historic nature of the meeting, their talks do not appear to have resulted in new commitments to denuclearization.

April 20, 2020 – The United States is monitoring intelligence that suggests Kim is in grave danger after undergoing prior surgery, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge. Another US official told CNN the concerns about Kim’s health are credible but the severity is difficult to gauge.

May 2, 2020 – Kim made an appearance at a May Day celebration, during which he was photographed smoking and laughing, North Korean media reported. It would be the leader’s first public appearance in around three weeks after global speculation over his health.

January 9, 2021 – Kim says North Korea is developing new weapons, including a nuclear-powered submarine, tactical nuclear weapons and advanced warheads designed to penetrate missile defense systems.

June 16, 2021 – KCNA reports that Kim admitted his country is facing food shortages he blamed on last year’s typhoon and floods, months after urging people to take another “arduous march” during a a high-level political meeting.

June 30, 2021 – State media reports that Kim fired several senior officials who failed to enforce strict Covid-19 prevention in North Korea, a dereliction of duty that the young dictator says will have “serious consequences” for the country. impoverished and isolated nation.

October 12, 2021 – Kim says North Korea’s weapons are needed to defend the country against the “hostile” United States, KCNA reports. Kim makes the comments against the backdrop of missiles, including what analysts believe is one of the world‘s largest ballistic missiles, at the defense development expo to mark the 76th anniversary of the North American Workers’ Party. Koreans.

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