Political Profiles: Kim Jong Un

The young leader of North Korea has become a very controversial figure early in his reign in Communist North Korea.  Kim Jong-un stepped into the spotlight in 2011, when he inherited the position of the leader of North Korea from his father. Ever since, he’s been causing a stir in the global community. But who is Kim Jong-un?

Early life shrouded in mystery

Much of the early life of Kim Jong-un remains unknown. The exact birth date is not known and his childhood events are rarely documented. What’s known is that he is the son of Kim Jong-il and Ko Young-hee. Kim Jong-un also has two other brothers of which he is the youngest.

His father, Kim Jong-il, was a military-oriented leader of North Korea until his death in 2011. His mother was an opera singer, who was in favor of Kim Jong-un becoming the leader after the death of Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-un is thought to have received some sort of education in Switzerland during his childhood. In the mid-2000s, he reportedly attended the Kim Il-sung Military University in the capital city, Pyongyang.

Taking the throne

In 2011, King Jong-un became the successor to his father. His father likened his temperament to be similar to his and Kim Jong-un has continued to lead with a military focus.

North Korea’s weapons-testing programs have continued. Although Kim Jong-un agreed to halt nuclear testing and long-range missile launches in 2012, he has continued these practices more or less openly.

Troubled future

Kim Jong-un’s position as the leader inside the economically plighted country has been questioned in the western media. For a short period in 2014, he went missing, with speculation looming over his position. Yet later reports suggested it was down to complications from his love of cheese, rather than an attempted military coup.

So far, Kim’s vowed reforms in educational and economic reform have not taken place. As he is in charge of a country, so mysterious to the outside world, it’ll take time to analyze the impact and the legacy of this unpredictable statesman.

Richard Cox

Richard Cox has a PHD in Macroeconomics and has taught the subject at the university level. He writes for several internet news outlets, including: CNBC, TheStreet.com, NASDAQ, and the Motley Fool.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @RCox_

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