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He is the second child of Kim Jong-il, who was North Korea's second supreme leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui. He is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, who was the founder and first supreme leader of North Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as successor to the leadership of North Korea. Following his father's death in December 2011, state television announced Kim Jong-un as the "Great Successor". Kim holds the titles of General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and President of the State Affairs Commission. He is also a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body. In July 2012, Kim was promoted to the highest rank of Marshal in the Korean People's Army, consolidating his position as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. North Korean state media often refer to him as "the Marshal" or "Dear Respected Leader". He has promoted the policy of byungjin, similar to Kim Il-sung's policy from the 1960s, referring to the simultaneous development of both the economy and the country's nuclear weapons program. Kim's leadership has followed the same cult of personality as his grandfather and father. In 2014, a UNHRC report suggested that Kim could be put on trial for crimes against humanity. He has ordered the purge or execution of several North Korean officials; he is also widely believed to have ordered the 2017 assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia. He has presided over an expansion of the consumer economy, construction projects and tourist attractions. Kim also expanded North Korea's nuclear program which led to heightened tensions in the 2017–2018 North Korea crisis. In 20, Kim took part in a diplomatic process, meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump. He has claimed success in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in North Korea, although many experts doubt the country has had no cases altogether. 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. Before 2018 the US Treasury Department listed Kim Jong-un's official birthdate as 8 January 1984. Now, the birthdate is listed as 8 January 1983, aligning with South Korea's birthdate for Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un is the second of three children Ko Yong-hui bore to Kim Jong-il; his elder brother Kim Jong-chul was born in 1981, while his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, is believed to have been born in 1987. Later, it was reported that Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli state school in Köniz near Bern under the name "Pak-un" or "Un-pak" from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the North Korean embassy in Bern. Authorities confirmed that a North Korean student from North Korea attended the school during that period. Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and later attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th and part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in the autumn of 2000. He was described as a well-integrated and ambitious student who liked to play basketball. According to some reports, Kim was described by classmates as a shy child who was awkward with girls and indifferent to political issues, but who distinguished himself in sports and had a fascination with the American National Basketball Association and Michael Jordan. One friend claimed that he had been shown pictures of Pak-un with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč. The Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, France, compared the picture of Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999 with a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 and concluded that the faces show a conformity of 95%, suggesting that it is most likely that they are the same person. In late February 2018, Reuters reported that Kim and his father had used forged passports—supposedly issued by Brazil and dated 26 February 1996—to apply for visas in various countries. Both 10-year passports carry a stamp saying "Embassy of Brazil in Prague". Kim Jong-un's passport records the name "Josef Pwag" and a date of birth of 1 February 1983. It was only in June 2010, shortly before he was given official posts and publicly introduced to the North Korean people, that more pictures were released of Kim, taken when he was attending school in Switzerland. 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. Kim Jong-un's eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favorite to succeed, but reportedly fell out of favor after 2001, when he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. stating that he was favored to be his father's successor. Fujimoto also said that Jong-un was favored by his father over his elder brother, Kim Jong-chul, reasoning that Jong-chul is too feminine in character, while Jong-un is "exactly like his father". Furthermore, Fujimoto stated that "if power is to be handed over then Jong-un is the best for it. He has superb physical gifts, is a big drinker and never admits defeat." Also, according to Fujimoto, Jong-un smokes Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes, loves Johnnie Walker whisky and has a Mercedes-Benz 600 luxury sedan. When Jong-un was 18, Fujimoto described an episode where Jong-un once questioned his lavish lifestyle and asked, "we are here, playing basketball, riding horses, riding jet skis, having fun together. " There have also been reports that citizens in North Korea were encouraged to sing a newly composed "song of praise" to Kim Jong-un, in a similar fashion to that of praise songs relating to Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. 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. On 28 September 2010, he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, in an apparent nod to become the successor to Kim Jong-il. 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. In January 2011, the regime reportedly began purging around 200 protégés of both Jong-un's uncle-in-law Jang Song-thaek and O Kuk-ryol, the vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, by either detention or execution to further prevent either man from rivaling Jong-un. Despite the elder Kim's plans, it was not immediately clear after his death whether Jong-un would in fact take full power, and what his exact role in a new government would be. and was made chairman of the Kim Jong-il funeral committee. The Korean Central News Agency described Kim Jong-un as "a great person born of heaven", a propaganda term only his father and grandfather had enjoyed. 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 27 March 2012, Kim was elected to the Fourth Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea. 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. Kim Jong-un also took his father's post as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, as well as his father's old seat on the Politburo Presidium. On 15 April 2012, during a military parade to commemorate Kim Il-sung's centenary, Kim Jong-un made his first public speech, Let Us March Forward Dynamically Towards Final Victory, Holding Higher the Banner of Songun. Kim Jong-un was promoted to wonsu (translated as marshal), the highest active rank in the military. The decision was jointly issued on by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission, and the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the Korean Central News Agency subsequently announced. The only higher rank is Dae Wonsu (roughly translated as Grand Marshal or Generalissimo) which was held by Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and which was awarded posthumously to his father, Kim Jong-il, in February 2012. In November 2012, satellite photos revealed a half-kilometer-long (1,600 ft) propaganda message carved into a hillside in Ryanggang Province, reading, "Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun"! On 30 November 2012, Kim met with Li Jianguo, who "briefed Kim on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China", according to the state's official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency. On 9 March 2014, Kim Jong-un was elected to a seat in the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's unicameral legislature. He ran unopposed, but voters had the choice of voting yes or no. There was a record turnout of voters and, according to government officials, all voted "yes" in his home district of Mount Paekdu. According to the North Korean constitution, Kim Jong-un is part of a triumvirate heading the executive branch of the North Korean government along with Premier Kim Tok-hun and parliament president Choe Ryong-hae. Kim Jong-un commands the armed forces, Kim Tok-hun heads the government and handles domestic affairs, and Choe Ryong-hae handles foreign relations. However, under the constitution, Kim Jong-un is the highest-ranking of the three. Since 1998, the NDC chairmanship has been constitutionally defined as "the highest post in the state", In July 2012, Kim Jong-un showed a change in cultural policy from his father by attending a Moranbong Band concert. The concert contained several elements of pop culture from the West, particularly the United States. Kim used this event to introduce his wife to the public, an unprecedented move in North Korea. In 2012, Kim Jong-il's personal chef Kenji Fujimoto visited North Korea and said, "Stores in Pyongyang were brimming with products and people in the streets looked cheerful. North Korea has changed a lot since Kim Jong-un assumed power. All of this is because of leader Kim Jong-un." In 2013, Kim copied his grandfather's style when he gave his first New Year's address, a break from the approach of his father, Kim Jong-il, who never made a televised address during his 17 years in power. In May 2014, following the collapse of an apartment building in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un was said to be very upset at the loss of life that resulted. A statement issued by the country's official news agency the Korean Central News Agency used the rare expression "profound consolation and apology". An unnamed government official was quoted by the BBC as saying Kim Jong-un had "sat up all night, feeling painful". While the height of the building and the number of casualties was not released, media reports described it is a 23-story building and indicated that more than a hundred people may have died in the collapse. Kim Jong-un has been promoting a policy of byungjin, similar to his grandfather Kim il-sung's policies from the 1960s, developing the national economy in parallel with the nations nuclear weapons program. The measures increase the autonomy of enterprises by granting them "certain rights to engage in business activities autonomously and elevate the will to labor through appropriately implementing the socialist distribution system". Another priority of economic policies that year was agriculture, where the pojon (vegetable garden) responsibility system was implemented. The system reportedly achieved a major increase in output in some collective farms. These reports reflect Kim's general economic policy of reforming management, increasing the autonomy and incentives for economic actors. This set of reforms known as the "May 30th measures" reaffirms both socialist ownership and "objective economic laws in guidance and management" to improve living standards. Other objectives of the measures are to increase the availability of domestically manufactured goods on markets, introduction of defence innovations into the civilian sector and boost international trade. There has been a construction boom in Pyongyang, bringing colour and creative architectural styles to the city. While in the past there was a concentration on building monuments, Kim Jong-un's government has constructed amusement parks, aquatic parks, skating rinks, a dolphinarium and a ski resort. Jang is believed to have been executed by firing squad. Yonhap has stated that, according to multiple unnamed sources, Kim Jong-un has also put to death members of Jang's family, to completely destroy all traces of Jang's existence through "extensive executions" of his family, including the children and grandchildren of all close relatives. Those reportedly killed in Kim's purge include Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin, and Jang's nephew and ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol. The nephew's two sons were also said to have been killed. O Sang-hon was a deputy security minister in the Ministry of People's Security in the government of North Korea who was reportedly killed in a political purge in 2014. President Donald Trump condemned Kim Jong-un's "brutal" regime and described Kim as a "madman" after the death of American student Otto Warmbier who had been imprisoned during a visit to North Korea. According to the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, O was executed by flamethrower for his role in supporting Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek. In May 2017, the North Korean government stated that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States and the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) hired a North Korean lumberjack who worked in Russia to assassinate Kim with a "biochemical weapon" that was both radioactive and nano-poisonous, and whose effect would have been delayed by a few months. At a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party held on 31 March 2013, he announced that North Korea would adopt "a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously". During the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2016, Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would "not use nuclear weapons first unless aggressive hostile forces use nuclear weapons to invade on our sovereignty". In December 2015, Kim stated that his family "turned the DPRK into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation". In January 2018, estimates of North Korea's nuclear arsenal ranged between 15 and 60 bombs, probably including hydrogen bombs. In the opinion of analysts, the Hwasong-15 missile is capable of striking anywhere in the United States. In addition to the athletes, Kim sent an unprecedented high-level delegation including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, and President of the Presidium, Kim Yong-nam, and performers such as the Samjiyon Orchestra. At the April 2018 inter-Korean summit, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed the Panmunjom Declaration, pledging to convert the Korean Armistice Agreement into a full peace treaty, formally ending the Korean War, by the end of the year. In September, Kim held another summit with Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang. Kim agreed to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons facilities if the United States took reciprocal action. The two governments also announced that they would establish buffer zones on their borders to prevent clashes. In February 2019, Kim held another summit with Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, which Trump cut short on the second day without an agreement. The Trump administration said that the North Koreans wanted complete sanctions relief, while the North Koreans said that they were only asking for partial sanctions relief. In August 2020, it was reported that Kim had ceded a degree of authority to his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, giving her responsibility for relations with South Korea and the United States and making her his de facto second-in-command. At the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, held in early January 2021, Kim Jong-un delivered a nine-hour-long report in which he admitted failures in carrying out the economic plan and lambasted leading officials' shortcomings. In 2012, Business Insider reported that there were "[s]igns of a rise in luxury goods ... creeping out of North Korea since Kim Jong-un took over" and that his "wife Ri Sol-ju (리설주) was photographed holding what appeared to be an expensive Dior handbag, worth almost S,594 – an average year's salary in North Korea". Kim Jong-un did not appear in public for six weeks in September and October 2014. State media reported that he was suffering from an "uncomfortable physical condition". According to Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, and others, the promotion of Yo-jong and others is a sign that "the Kim Jong-un regime has ended its co-existence with the remnants of the previous Kim Jong-il regime by carrying out a generational replacement in the party's key elite posts". He is the second child of Kim Jong-il, who was North Korea's second supreme leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui. He is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, who was the founder and first supreme leader of North Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as successor to the leadership of North Korea. Following his father's death in December 2011, state television announced Kim Jong-un as the "Great Successor". Kim holds the titles of General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and President of the State Affairs Commission. He is also a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body. In July 2012, Kim was promoted to the highest rank of Marshal in the Korean People's Army, consolidating his position as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. North Korean state media often refer to him as "the Marshal" or "Dear Respected Leader". He has promoted the policy of byungjin, similar to Kim Il-sung's policy from the 1960s, referring to the simultaneous development of both the economy and the country's nuclear weapons program. Kim's leadership has followed the same cult of personality as his grandfather and father. In 2014, a UNHRC report suggested that Kim could be put on trial for crimes against humanity. He has ordered the purge or execution of several North Korean officials; he is also widely believed to have ordered the 2017 assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia. He has presided over an expansion of the consumer economy, construction projects and tourist attractions. Kim also expanded North Korea's nuclear program which led to heightened tensions in the 2017–2018 North Korea crisis. In 20, Kim took part in a diplomatic process, meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump. He has claimed success in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in North Korea, although many experts doubt the country has had no cases altogether. 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. Before 2018 the US Treasury Department listed Kim Jong-un's official birthdate as 8 January 1984. Now, the birthdate is listed as 8 January 1983, aligning with South Korea's birthdate for Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un is the second of three children Ko Yong-hui bore to Kim Jong-il; his elder brother Kim Jong-chul was born in 1981, while his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, is believed to have been born in 1987. Later, it was reported that Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli state school in Köniz near Bern under the name "Pak-un" or "Un-pak" from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the North Korean embassy in Bern. Authorities confirmed that a North Korean student from North Korea attended the school during that period. Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and later attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th and part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in the autumn of 2000. He was described as a well-integrated and ambitious student who liked to play basketball. According to some reports, Kim was described by classmates as a shy child who was awkward with girls and indifferent to political issues, but who distinguished himself in sports and had a fascination with the American National Basketball Association and Michael Jordan. One friend claimed that he had been shown pictures of Pak-un with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč. The Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, France, compared the picture of Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999 with a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 and concluded that the faces show a conformity of 95%, suggesting that it is most likely that they are the same person. In late February 2018, Reuters reported that Kim and his father had used forged passports—supposedly issued by Brazil and dated 26 February 1996—to apply for visas in various countries. Both 10-year passports carry a stamp saying "Embassy of Brazil in Prague". Kim Jong-un's passport records the name "Josef Pwag" and a date of birth of 1 February 1983. It was only in June 2010, shortly before he was given official posts and publicly introduced to the North Korean people, that more pictures were released of Kim, taken when he was attending school in Switzerland. 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. Kim Jong-un's eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favorite to succeed, but reportedly fell out of favor after 2001, when he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. stating that he was favored to be his father's successor. Fujimoto also said that Jong-un was favored by his father over his elder brother, Kim Jong-chul, reasoning that Jong-chul is too feminine in character, while Jong-un is "exactly like his father". Furthermore, Fujimoto stated that "if power is to be handed over then Jong-un is the best for it. He has superb physical gifts, is a big drinker and never admits defeat." Also, according to Fujimoto, Jong-un smokes Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes, loves Johnnie Walker whisky and has a Mercedes-Benz 600 luxury sedan. When Jong-un was 18, Fujimoto described an episode where Jong-un once questioned his lavish lifestyle and asked, "we are here, playing basketball, riding horses, riding jet skis, having fun together. " There have also been reports that citizens in North Korea were encouraged to sing a newly composed "song of praise" to Kim Jong-un, in a similar fashion to that of praise songs relating to Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. 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. On 28 September 2010, he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, in an apparent nod to become the successor to Kim Jong-il. 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. In January 2011, the regime reportedly began purging around 200 protégés of both Jong-un's uncle-in-law Jang Song-thaek and O Kuk-ryol, the vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, by either detention or execution to further prevent either man from rivaling Jong-un. Despite the elder Kim's plans, it was not immediately clear after his death whether Jong-un would in fact take full power, and what his exact role in a new government would be. and was made chairman of the Kim Jong-il funeral committee. The Korean Central News Agency described Kim Jong-un as "a great person born of heaven", a propaganda term only his father and grandfather had enjoyed. 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 27 March 2012, Kim was elected to the Fourth Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea. 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. Kim Jong-un also took his father's post as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, as well as his father's old seat on the Politburo Presidium. On 15 April 2012, during a military parade to commemorate Kim Il-sung's centenary, Kim Jong-un made his first public speech, Let Us March Forward Dynamically Towards Final Victory, Holding Higher the Banner of Songun. Kim Jong-un was promoted to wonsu (translated as marshal), the highest active rank in the military. The decision was jointly issued on by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission, and the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the Korean Central News Agency subsequently announced. The only higher rank is Dae Wonsu (roughly translated as Grand Marshal or Generalissimo) which was held by Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and which was awarded posthumously to his father, Kim Jong-il, in February 2012. In November 2012, satellite photos revealed a half-kilometer-long (1,600 ft) propaganda message carved into a hillside in Ryanggang Province, reading, "Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun"! On 30 November 2012, Kim met with Li Jianguo, who "briefed Kim on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China", according to the state's official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency. On 9 March 2014, Kim Jong-un was elected to a seat in the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's unicameral legislature. He ran unopposed, but voters had the choice of voting yes or no. There was a record turnout of voters and, according to government officials, all voted "yes" in his home district of Mount Paekdu. According to the North Korean constitution, Kim Jong-un is part of a triumvirate heading the executive branch of the North Korean government along with Premier Kim Tok-hun and parliament president Choe Ryong-hae. Kim Jong-un commands the armed forces, Kim Tok-hun heads the government and handles domestic affairs, and Choe Ryong-hae handles foreign relations. However, under the constitution, Kim Jong-un is the highest-ranking of the three. Since 1998, the NDC chairmanship has been constitutionally defined as "the highest post in the state", In July 2012, Kim Jong-un showed a change in cultural policy from his father by attending a Moranbong Band concert. The concert contained several elements of pop culture from the West, particularly the United States. Kim used this event to introduce his wife to the public, an unprecedented move in North Korea. In 2012, Kim Jong-il's personal chef Kenji Fujimoto visited North Korea and said, "Stores in Pyongyang were brimming with products and people in the streets looked cheerful. North Korea has changed a lot since Kim Jong-un assumed power. All of this is because of leader Kim Jong-un." In 2013, Kim copied his grandfather's style when he gave his first New Year's address, a break from the approach of his father, Kim Jong-il, who never made a televised address during his 17 years in power. In May 2014, following the collapse of an apartment building in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un was said to be very upset at the loss of life that resulted. A statement issued by the country's official news agency the Korean Central News Agency used the rare expression "profound consolation and apology". An unnamed government official was quoted by the BBC as saying Kim Jong-un had "sat up all night, feeling painful". While the height of the building and the number of casualties was not released, media reports described it is a 23-story building and indicated that more than a hundred people may have died in the collapse. Kim Jong-un has been promoting a policy of byungjin, similar to his grandfather Kim il-sung's policies from the 1960s, developing the national economy in parallel with the nations nuclear weapons program. The measures increase the autonomy of enterprises by granting them "certain rights to engage in business activities autonomously and elevate the will to labor through appropriately implementing the socialist distribution system". Another priority of economic policies that year was agriculture, where the pojon (vegetable garden) responsibility system was implemented. The system reportedly achieved a major increase in output in some collective farms. These reports reflect Kim's general economic policy of reforming management, increasing the autonomy and incentives for economic actors. This set of reforms known as the "May 30th measures" reaffirms both socialist ownership and "objective economic laws in guidance and management" to improve living standards. Other objectives of the measures are to increase the availability of domestically manufactured goods on markets, introduction of defence innovations into the civilian sector and boost international trade. There has been a construction boom in Pyongyang, bringing colour and creative architectural styles to the city. While in the past there was a concentration on building monuments, Kim Jong-un's government has constructed amusement parks, aquatic parks, skating rinks, a dolphinarium and a ski resort. Jang is believed to have been executed by firing squad. Yonhap has stated that, according to multiple unnamed sources, Kim Jong-un has also put to death members of Jang's family, to completely destroy all traces of Jang's existence through "extensive executions" of his family, including the children and grandchildren of all close relatives. Those reportedly killed in Kim's purge include Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin, and Jang's nephew and ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol. The nephew's two sons were also said to have been killed. O Sang-hon was a deputy security minister in the Ministry of People's Security in the government of North Korea who was reportedly killed in a political purge in 2014. President Donald Trump condemned Kim Jong-un's "brutal" regime and described Kim as a "madman" after the death of American student Otto Warmbier who had been imprisoned during a visit to North Korea. According to the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, O was executed by flamethrower for his role in supporting Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek. In May 2017, the North Korean government stated that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States and the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) hired a North Korean lumberjack who worked in Russia to assassinate Kim with a "biochemical weapon" that was both radioactive and nano-poisonous, and whose effect would have been delayed by a few months. At a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party held on 31 March 2013, he announced that North Korea would adopt "a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously". During the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2016, Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would "not use nuclear weapons first unless aggressive hostile forces use nuclear weapons to invade on our sovereignty". In December 2015, Kim stated that his family "turned the DPRK into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation". In January 2018, estimates of North Korea's nuclear arsenal ranged between 15 and 60 bombs, probably including hydrogen bombs. In the opinion of analysts, the Hwasong-15 missile is capable of striking anywhere in the United States. In addition to the athletes, Kim sent an unprecedented high-level delegation including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, and President of the Presidium, Kim Yong-nam, and performers such as the Samjiyon Orchestra. At the April 2018 inter-Korean summit, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed the Panmunjom Declaration, pledging to convert the Korean Armistice Agreement into a full peace treaty, formally ending the Korean War, by the end of the year. In September, Kim held another summit with Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang. Kim agreed to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons facilities if the United States took reciprocal action. The two governments also announced that they would establish buffer zones on their borders to prevent clashes. In February 2019, Kim held another summit with Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, which Trump cut short on the second day without an agreement. The Trump administration said that the North Koreans wanted complete sanctions relief, while the North Koreans said that they were only asking for partial sanctions relief. In August 2020, it was reported that Kim had ceded a degree of authority to his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, giving her responsibility for relations with South Korea and the United States and making her his de facto second-in-command. At the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, held in early January 2021, Kim Jong-un delivered a nine-hour-long report in which he admitted failures in carrying out the economic plan and lambasted leading officials' shortcomings. In 2012, Business Insider reported that there were "[s]igns of a rise in luxury goods ... creeping out of North Korea since Kim Jong-un took over" and that his "wife Ri Sol-ju (리설주) was photographed holding what appeared to be an expensive Dior handbag, worth almost S,594 – an average year's salary in North Korea". Kim Jong-un did not appear in public for six weeks in September and October 2014. State media reported that he was suffering from an "uncomfortable physical condition". According to Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, and others, the promotion of Yo-jong and others is a sign that "the Kim Jong-un regime has ended its co-existence with the remnants of the previous Kim Jong-il regime by carrying out a generational replacement in the party's key elite posts".

date: 25-Aug-2021 22:02next


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