North Korean political leader, supreme leader from 2011. Despite very limited political and military experience, in December 2011 and at the age of 28, he took over leadership of North Korea's ruling communist party and its large army, after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, the country's ‘Dear Leader’. In his first public speech, in April 2012 on the 100th anniversary of the birthday of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, he vowed to maintain the country's self-sufficiency and military might, despite the growing economic problems the country faced. He increased his authority by removing potential rivals. These included, in July 2012, army chief-of-staff Ri Yong-ho, and, in December 2013, Chang Song-thaek, his uncle and former mentor, who was executed for allegedly seeking to overthrow him. During 2012–16, Kim defied the international community and UN resolutions by restarting operations at the Yongbyon nuclear facility and test-firing medium-range ballistic missiles and a hydrogen bomb. This led to strengthened Western sanctions against North Korea.
The third and youngest son of Kim Jong Il, his mother was Ko Yong Hui, Kim's third (and favourite) wife. Like his brothers, he was educated in Switzerland, but he avoided Western influences and later attended the country's Kim Il Sung University, studying physics, and Kim Il Sung Military University. He became viewed as Kim Jong Il's heir-apparent from 2010, when he became a vice-chair of the central military commission and joined the central committee of the Korean Workers' Party. State television announced him as the ‘Great Successor’ soon after his father's death on 17 December 2011.
North Korean communist politician. He was national leader 1994 to 2011, when he succeeded his father, Kim Il Sung in what was the first dynastic succ
North Korea, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, was officially founded in 1948 under the leadership of Kim Il Sung. With the b
Capital and largest city of North Korea, lying in the west of the country on the Taedong River, 50 km/30 mi inland from the Yellow Sea; population (2