[KS] Official biography of Kim Jong-un

Jim Hoare jim at jhoare10.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Apr 17 07:32:23 EDT 2012

I agree with Rudiger. In 2001-02, when I was opening the British Embassy, my
Korean staff asked me if I knew whether the Leader (Kim Jong Ill) was
married and had any children. Since they worked in an embassy, these were
people who were part of the elite, even if not very high up the tree, and if
they did not know, one can assume that people lower down did not know
either. That said, the question arose because they had heard a rumour –
there were many rumours around the diplomatic community – that one of the
leader’s sons had been arrested at Tokyo airport. At that time, some
embassies had televisions that they allowed their Korean staff to watch so
the story may have come that way. Now in some embassies, Korean staff have
access to the internet and I have heard that they quickly begin checking on
the background of the leaders but this only began after my time.

In October last year, officials referred to Kim Jong Un but made no mention
of his foreign schooling. I seem to remember references to his knowledge of
a number of European languages but cannot now trace the reference. Frankly,
if you weigh two years of Swiss schooling against the DPRK system of
controls on those who come back from overseas, including diplomats’ children
who may get up to four years of education, I would be surprised if the
overseas experience remained a major factor in their view of the world.

Jim Hoare



From: koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws
[mailto:koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws] On Behalf Of Ruediger Frank
Sent: 17 April 2012 11:04
To: Korean Studies Discussion List
Subject: Re: [KS] Official biography of Kim Jong-un


Matty and all,
having just returned from NK and having talked to a few people there, I can
say that it does not seem that the personal background of Kim3 has yet been
made public. It is known that he is Kim2's son, and there are speculations
that his name was formed of his father's (Jong) and his mother's (ùn) name.
That's all. There was no knowledge of Kim Jong Nam or his escapades.
Of course this must be taken with a grain of salt; naive to expect anybody
there would tell a foreigner the truth on such a delicate matter. But based
on experience, I'd say in this paticular case my contacts did not lie.

on Dienstag, 17. April 2012 at 03:05 you wrote:


Hello list members:

A student recently asked if we have any indication about what people in
North Korea know of Kim Jong-un's biography. In particular, do they know
that he studied abroad and if so, what feelings might they have about this?

1) Is there an online resource with an official biography of KJO?
2) Any educated guesses about how North Koreans would view his yuhak
experience if they do know?

Thank you in advance,
Matty Wegehaupt

Lawrence University
Appleton, WI, USA


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