Kim Jong-il was the second North Korean leader. Kim ruled after the death of Kim Il-sung. His father became the first North Korean leader in 1994 until he died in the year 2011. We have gathered 15 facts about this ruler in this article.
Kim Jong-il: 14 Fascinating Facts about this North Korean leader
1. The North Korean economy faced depression
Under Kim Jong-il, North Korean economy is bad due to the effects of UN sanctions & a long series of different natural disasters. Statistics also show that the economy of North Korea contracted for the 2nd successive year in 2010 in spite of North Korea’s leaders promising to give a “gateway of a mighty & prosperous nation” by the next year. Almost 23.9 million North Korean citizens aren’t able to even freely use the internet or cellular phones (along with the web domain that is .kp) though Kim always considered himself as a communication professional.
2. He was suspected of his brother’s death
An interesting fact about Kim Jong-il is that it is believed that he was behind the death of his brother (Kim Shu-ra) after his brother was found to be drowned in a family’s pool in his Pyongyang mansion. However, these claims were not proved ever.
3. He was born in a secret military camp
He was born on February 16, 1942, in one of the secret military camps on Baekdu Mountain. However, Soviet records say that Kim was born in 1941 in Vyatskoye, Russia, while his mother and father were in exile.
4. Kim Jong-il graduated after four years from a University named after his father
In the year 1960, he started his education in politics & economics department at Kim Il-sung University, an interesting fact about Kim Jong-il.
5. His survivors believe that he has five children
His youngest child Kim Jong-un succeeded him. And, his eldest son named Kim Jong-Nam, was expected to succeed him, but he got arrested in the year 2001 when going to Disneyland on the forged passport.
Kim is popular as Generalissimo, Dear Leader, The General, Supreme Leader, and Our Father.
6. Kim Jong-il said into the microphone: “Glory to the heroic soldiers of the Korean People’s Army!”
He was also broadcasted in North Korea in 1992 while the military parade was going on in Pyongyang. Great applause broke out from the huge crowd & all parade participants also cheered.
7. After nine years, he got elected in 1974
He became a secretary of the committee just before becoming a member of the Political Bureau of Central Committee.
8. In 1992, Kim Jong-il became the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army
He became the very first VC & later the Chairman of the National Defense Commission just before being appointed once again in 1993. On October 8, 1997, he was elected as a General Secretary of Central Committee of Workers’ Party (WPK). In 1975, he was also given an honorary title “Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” around seven years later.
9. In 1992, he entitled with Marshal of DPRK
Kim received Kim Il-sung Order three times and several other honors and awards. In July 1994, after his father’s death, it took almost three years for him to consolidate powers and acclaim the title of the General Secretary of Workers’ Party, an interesting fact about Kim Jong-il. As his father was entitled to “Eternal President” after his death, Kim Jong-il did not officially become the president of North Korea.
10. Kim Jong-il became a crucial member
From October 1980, he remained an important member of Presidium of Politburo & secretary of Central Committee of WPK & Central Military Commission. From 1982 to 1998, he remained deputy to each Supreme People’s Assembly. Kim began working for WPK in the year 1964.
11. He was also a prolific writer
While studying at the university, it is written in the biography that Kim wrote a lot of books.
Meanwhile, Kim also spread news in North Korea that he was able to control the weather conditions with his changing mood.
12. He had a large female staff
His female staff used to inspect all rice grains to check out whether they adhered to the standards of color, length, and weight or not.
According to historians, due to his love for Western culture, Kim forced a lot of waitresses at the restaurants visited by the foreigners in Pyongyang for having cosmetic surgery to appear “western,” an interesting fact about Kim Jong-il.
13. Kim had a long list of luxury imports
The list includes the penchant for French poodles, Chinese dolphins, & African aphrodisiacs. He also claimed to have a palate for lobster, Donkey meat, & costly French wine. Satellite images recently have shown that Kim had also installed a long series of different loopy waterslides.
14. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was one of the top secretive countries
It’s said that North Korea got its atomic program from the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Experts have estimated that North Korea’s atomic weapons stockpile range from as low as one digit to more than 12, but there’s no surety that North Korea has made a working nuclear bomb.
Due to this reason, North Korea faced global sanctions and these sanctions were implemented in 2009 when it tested a long series of illicit nuclear & ballistic missiles that torpedoed a South Korea corvette & shelled a South Korean small Island as well.
In 2012, on Kim’s 71st birthday, he was posthumously made Generalissimo. It is the top military rank. Also, in 2012, the North Korean government created the Order of Kim Jong-il. It was in his honor & awarded to 132 people for the services in a building the “thriving socialist nation” & for more defense capabilities.
I hope that this article on Kim Jong-il facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!