|Birth Day:||February 16, 1941|
|Death Date:||Dec 17, 2011 (age 70)|
|Birth Place:||Khabarovsk Krai, Russia|
|#5||Kim Yo-jong||Daughter||$5 Million - $10 Million (Approx.)||N/A||33||Politician|
|#6||Kim Il-sung||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||82||World Leader|
|#7||Ko Yong-hui||Former partner||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Kim Han-sol||Grandson||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||25||Celebrity Family Member|
|#9||Kim Jong-suk||Mother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||29||Celebrity Family Member|
|#10||Kim Kyong- hui||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Kim Jong- nam||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#13||Kim Jong-un||Son||$5 Billion||N/A||37||World Leader|
|#14||Kim Young- sook||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Kim Jong-il died on Dec 17, 2011 (age 70).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He became active in the Children's Union and the Democratic Youth League while still in school.
The exact birthplace of Kim Jong-il is unknown. Soviet records show that Kim was born Yuri Irsenovich Kim (Russian: Юрий Ирсенович Ким). In literature, it is assumed that he was born in 1941 in either the camp of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, or camp Voroshilov near Nikolsk. According to Lim Jae-Cheon, Kim cannot have been born in Vyatskoye as Kim Il-sung's war records show that he arrived at Vyatskoye only in July 1942 and has been living in Voroshilov before. Kim'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".
However, Kim's official biography states he was born in a secret military camp on Paektu Mountain (Korean: 백두산밀영고향집; Baekdusan Miryeong Gohyang jip) in Japanese-occupied Korea on 16 February 1942. 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. Reports indicate that his mother died in childbirth in 1949.
In 1945, Kim was four years old when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan. 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. Kim's brother drowned there in 1948.
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. In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch (the chairman had to be a teacher). He pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates.
Kim's first wife, Hong Il-chon, was the daughter of a martyr who died during the Korean War. She was handpicked by his father and married to him in 1966. They have a girl called Kim Hye-kyung, who was born in 1968. Soon, they divorced in 1969.
Kim's first mistress, Song Hye-rim, was a star of North Korean films. She was already married to another man and with a child when they met. Kim is reported to have forced her husband to divorce her. This relationship, started in 1970, was not officially recognized. They had one son, Kim Jong-nam (1971–2017), who was Kim Jong-il's eldest son. Kim kept both the relationship and the child a secret (even from his father) until he ascended to power in 1994. However, after years of estrangement, Song is believed to have died in Moscow in the Central Clinical Hospital in 2002.
In his teens and university years, Kim had written poems. He also wrote song lyrics. His first major literary work was On the Art of the Cinema in 1973.
Kim was said to be a huge film fan, owning a collection of more than 20,000 video tapes and DVDs. His reported favourite movie franchises included James Bond, Friday the 13th, Rambo, Godzilla and Hong Kong action cinema, with Sean Connery and Elizabeth Taylor his favourite male and female actors. Kim was also said to have been a fan of Ealing comedies, inspired by their emphasis on team spirit and a mobilised proletariat. He authored On the Art of the Cinema. In 1978, on Kim's orders South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and his actress wife Choi Eun-hee were kidnapped in order to build a North Korean film industry. In 2006, he was involved in the production of the Juche-based movie The Schoolgirl's Diary, which depicted the life of a young girl whose parents are scientists, with a KCNA news report stating that Kim "improved its script and guided its production".
By the time of the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim's control of the Party operation was complete. He was given senior posts in the Presidium, the Military Commission and the party Secretariat. According to his official biography, the WPK Central Committee had already anointed him successor to Kim Il-sung in February 1974. 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. Prior to 1980, he had no public profile and was referred to only as the "Party Centre".
By the 1980s, North Korea began to experience severe economic stagnation. Kim Il-sung's policy of Juche (self-reliance) cut the country off from almost all external trade, even with its traditional partners, the Soviet Union and China. 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. 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 personally.
On 24 December 1991, Kim was also named Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army. Defence Minister Oh Jin-wu, one of Kim Il-sung's most loyal subordinates, engineered Kim'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. In 1992, Kim Il-sung publicly stated that his son was in charge of all internal affairs in the Democratic People's Republic.
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.
In 1992, Kim 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 where the parade was held.
The prevailing point of view is that the people's adherence to Kim'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.
Kim was named Chairman of the National Defence Commission on 9 April 1993, making him day-to-day commander of the armed forces.
On 8 July 1994, Kim il-sung died at the age of 82 from a heart attack. Although Kim Jong-il had been his father's designated successor as early as 1974, named commander-in-chief in 1991, and became Supreme Leader upon his father's death, it took him some time to consolidate his power.
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 and the assurance that it would not be invaded again. In 2000, after a meeting with Madeleine Albright, he agreed to a moratorium on missile construction. In 2002, Kim's government admitted to having produced nuclear weapons since the 1994 agreement. Kim's regime argued the secret production was necessary for security purposes – citing 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.
He officially took over his father's old post as General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea on 8 October 1997. 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." 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.
Kim was known as a skilled and manipulative diplomat. 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. Kim 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.
United States Special Envoy for the Korean Peace Talks, Charles Kartman, who was involved in the 2000 Madeleine Albright summit with Kim, characterised Kim as a reasonable man in negotiations, to the point, but with a sense of humor and personally attentive to the people he was hosting. However, psychological evaluations conclude that Kim's antisocial features, such as his fearlessness in the face of sanctions and punishment, served to make negotiations extraordinarily difficult.
According to North Korean sources, Kim published some 890 works during a period of his career from June 1964 to June 1994. According to KCNA, the number of works from 1964 to 2001 was 550. In 2000, it was reported that the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House has published at least 120 works by Kim. In 2009, KCNA put the numbers as follows:
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 appeared 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.
Kim had a "reputation for being almost comically incompetent in matters of economic management". The economy of North Korea struggled throughout the 1990s, primarily due to mismanagement. In addition, North Korea experienced severe floods in the mid-1990s, exacerbated by poor land management. This, compounded with the fact that only 18% of North Korea is arable land and the country's inability to import the goods necessary to sustain industry, led to a severe famine and left North Korea economically devastated. Faced with a country in decay, Kim adopted a "Military-First" policy to strengthen the country and reinforce the regime. On the national scale, the Japanese Foreign Ministry acknowledges that this has resulted in a positive growth rate for the country since 1996, with the implementation of "landmark socialist-type market economic practices" in 2002 keeping the North afloat despite a continued dependency on foreign aid for food.
In 2002, Kim declared that "money should be capable of measuring the worth of all commodities." These gestures toward economic reform mirror similar actions taken by China's Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s and early 90s. During a rare visit in 2006, Kim expressed admiration for China's rapid economic progress.
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 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. Shigemura moreover claimed a voiceprint analysis of Kim speaking in 2004 did not match a known earlier recording. It was also noted that Kim did not appear in public for the Olympic torch relay in Pyongyang on 28 April 2008. The question had reportedly "baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years".
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 death – reportedly of cancer – in 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 act[ed] as North Korea's first lady" and frequently accompanied Kim on his visits to military bases and in meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. She travelled with Kim on a secretive trip to China in January 2006, where she was received by Chinese officials as Kim's wife.
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. He had last been seen in public a month earlier.
By 29 October 2008, reports stated Kim suffered a serious setback and had been taken back to hospital. The New York Times reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, on 28 October 2008, stated in a parliamentary session that Kim had been hospitalized: "His condition is not so good. 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, travelled 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. 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. Roux said Kim suffered few lasting effects.
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. 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.
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". However, South Korea's intelligence agency rejected this report.
An unsuccessful devaluation of the North Korean won in 2009, initiated or approved by Kim personally, caused brief economic chaos and uncovered the vulnerability of the country's societal fabric in the face of crisis.
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. In 2010, documents released by WikiLeaks purportedly attested that Kim suffered from epilepsy.
On 2 June 2009, it was reported that Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, was to be North Korea's next leader. 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 was expected to officially designate the son as his successor in 2012.
On 9 April 2009, Kim was re-elected as chairman of the National Defence Commission and made an appearance at the Supreme People's Assembly. This was the first time Kim was seen in public since August 2008. He was unanimously re-elected and given a standing ovation.
Kim received numerous titles during his rule. In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him and his successors as the "supreme leader of the DPRK".
Kim 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 Hwangap. In 2010, the North Korean media reported that Kim's distinctive clothing had set worldwide fashion trends.
On 28 September 2010, Kim was re-elected as General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Kim reportedly visited the People's Republic of China in May 2010. He entered the country via his personal train on 3 May and stayed in a hotel in Dalian. 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, according to medical information that had been compiled. Kim travelled to China again in August 2010, this time with his son, fueling speculation at the time that he was ready to hand over power to his son, Kim Jong-un.
There were speculations that the visits of Kim abroad in 2010 and 2011 were a sign of his improving health and a possible slowdown in succession might follow. After the visit to Russia, Kim appeared in a military parade in Pyongyang on 9 September, accompanied by Kim Jong-un.
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. In late August 2011, he travelled by train to the Russian Far East to meet with President Dmitry Medvedev for unspecified talks.
It was reported that Kim had died of a suspected heart attack on 17 December 2011 at 8:30 a.m. while travelling by train to an area outside Pyongyang. 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" and the ice on a famous lake also cracked so loud that it seemed to "shake the Heavens and the Earth."
On 12 January 2012, North Korea called Kim the "eternal leader" and announced that his body would be preserved and displayed at Pyongyang's Kumsusan Memorial Palace. Officials also announced plans to install statues, portraits, and "towers to his immortality" across the country. His birthday of 16 February was declared "the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation" and was named the Day of the Shining Star.
In February 2012, on what would have been his 71st birthday, Kim was posthumously made Dae Wonsu (usually translated as Generalissimo, literally Grand Marshal), the nation's top military rank. He had been named Wonsu (Marshal) in 1992 when North Korean founder Kim Il-sung was promoted to Dae Wonsu. Also in February 2012, the North Korean government created the Order of Kim Jong-il in his honor and awarded it to 132 individuals for services in building a "thriving socialist nation" and for increasing defense capabilities.
He had a younger sister, Kim Kyong-hui. She was married to Jang Sung-taek, who was executed in December 2013 in Pyongyang, after being charged with treason and corruption.
Currently, Kim Jong-il is 80 years, 5 months and 20 days old. Kim Jong-il will celebrate 81st birthday on a Wednesday 16th of February 2022.
Find out about Kim Jong-il birthday activities in timeline view here.