02 May 2009

Kim Jong Il

AKA Yuri Irsenowich Kim

Born: 16-Feb-1941
Birthplace: Khabarovsk, Siberia, Russia

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State

Nationality: North Korea
Executive summary: Dictator of North Korea

As a young man, Kim Jong-Il lived a playboy lifestyle, and many Koreans assumed that he would never be disciplined enough to lead his nation. But Kim studied political science at the university named for his father and rose rapidly through Communist Party ranks. He was designated his father's official successor in 1974, and took power upon the elder Kim's death in 1994. His early reign was marred by a three-year famine which killed perhaps 2 million citizens. He had about 80 high-ranking officials, including several relatives and his own brother-in-law, rounded up and purged in 2004. Long under international pressure to end its nuclear program, North Korea astonished the world by testing a nuclear bomb in 2006. Its point made, six-party talks resumed, leading to a modicum of detente by 2007.

Kim Jong-Il is often said to be stark raving bonkers, but this is a misconception. He is eccentric, certainly, and his government is extremely secretive and brutal to dissidents, but experts say Kim is bright, clear-headed, politically astute, and as sane as any leader with unchecked power. He drives trendy Mazdas, and prefers Hennessey cognac. He wears elevator shoes to hide his short stature (without the shoes, he stands about 5'2"). He is a big movie buff, and owns videos of at least 20,000 films. Kim is a moviemaker himself, the credited producer of Pulgasari, a 1985 Godzilla-esque story based on a 14th-century Korean legend about a monster who helps peasants overthrow their dictatorial king. Kim abducted South Korean director Shin Sang-Ok and actress Choe Un-Hee, and forced them to make the movie. They escaped several years later, when Kim allowed them to attend a film festival in Vienna.

Kim Il Sung (dictator, d. 8-Jul-1994)

Kim Chong-suk (d. 1949, childbirth)

Shura Kim (d. 1947, drowning)

Kim Pyong-il

Kim Yong Suk (div.)

Kim Jong-Nam (b. 1971, by Sung Hae-Rim)

Kim Sul-song (b. 1974)

Kim Jong-Chol (b. c. 1981, by Ko Young-hee)

Sung Hae-Rim

Ko Young-hee

Kim Jong-Woon

High School: Namsan Senior High School, Pyongyang, North Korea (1960)
University: BA Political Science, Kim Il-Sung University (1964)

President of North Korea 8-Jul-1994
Birthday Is Holiday
Korean Ancestry

Rotten Library Page:
Kim Jong Il

Appears on the cover of:
The Economist, 3-May-2003, DETAILS: Hell-bent
The Economist, 4-Jan-2003, DETAILS: The explosive Mr Kim (as if Saddam were not enough) [Kim's head in the midst of a nuclear explosion]
Time, 13-Jan-2003, DETAILS: The Bigger Threat? North Korea's dictator is a nuclear menace. Why he may be more dangerous than Saddam (shown pictured among warheads)

Source: NNDB Tracking the Entire World