1982-01-08 to Present
North KoreaKim Jong-un (born 8 January 1982) is a North Korean politician. He has been Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011 and Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2012. Kim is the second child of Kim Jong-il (1941–2011), the country's second leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui (1952–2004). He is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, who was the founder and first leader of North Korea from 1948 to 1994. Kim is the first North Korean leader who was born after the country's founding, and is also the second youngest currently serving head of government in the world.
North Korean authorities and state-run media have stated that Kim's birthdate was 8 January 1982. but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later. It is thought that Kim's official birth year was changed for symbolic reasons; 1982 marks 70 years after the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and 40 years after the official birth of his father Kim Jong-il. POV: The US Treasury Department lists Kim Jong-un's official birthdate as 8 January 1984. Former basketball star Dennis Rodman confirmed that 8 January was Kim Jong-un's birthdate after meeting in September 2013 in North Korea, and that Kim was 30 years of age at the time.
Kim Jong-un was made a daejang, the equivalent of a four-star general in the United States, on 27 September 2010, a day ahead of a rare Workers' Party of Korea conference in Pyongyang, the first time North Korean media had mentioned him by name and despite him having no previous military experience. Despite the promotion, no further details, including verifiable portraits of Kim, were released.
The first official image of him as an adult was a group photograph released on 30 September 2010, at the end of the party conference that effectively anointed him, in which he is seated in the front row, two places from his father. This was followed by newsreel footage of him attending the conference.
On 10 October 2010, Kim Jong-un was alongside his father when he attended the ruling Workers' Party's 65th-anniversary celebration. This was seen as confirming his position as the next leader of the Workers' Party. Unprecedented international press access was granted to the event, further indicating the importance of Kim Jong-un's presence.
On 26 December 2011, the leading North Korean newspaper reported that Kim Jong-un had been acting as chairman of the Central Military Commission, and supreme leader of the country, following his father's demise.
He was publicly declared Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army on 24 December 2011 and formally appointed to the position on 30 December 2011 when the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party "courteously proclaimed that the dear respected Kim Jong Un, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the WPK, assumed the supreme commandership of the Korean People's Army".
On 11 April, that conference wrote the post of general secretary out of the party charter and instead designated Kim Jong-il as the party's "Eternal General Secretary". The conference then elected Kim Jong-un as leader of the party under the newly created title of First Secretary.
On 26 February 2013, Kim Jong‑un met Dennis Rodman, which led many reporters to speculate that Rodman was the first American that Kim had met. Rodman described his trip to Kim Jong-un's private island: "It's like Hawaii or Ibiza, but he's the only one that lives there."