North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong-un's Footsteps May Cause Headaches

Kim Jong-un

The Japanese media featured two (2) stories relating to the possible hereditary succession of Kim Jong-un.  TBS Television cited a communication issued to DPRK Embassies that said, “We must pursue our mission under the guidance of General-Secretary Kim Jong-il.  We have to devote ourselves to carrying out a mission of opening the gate of a powerful state in 2012 for the time being.”  Also of interest are attempts to make Wonsan the DPRK’s second major city because it is alleged this is where Kim Jong-un spent much of his youth.   It also reported that a change has been made to the Kim Jong-un hymn “Footsteps” that substitutes a veiled reference to the young Mr. Kim for a reference to Kim Jong-il.  It also notes, “there has been no change to the decision to naming Kim Jong-un as the successor, but the General-Secretary place a restraint on the succession, out of concern Kim Jong-un would get too much attention, then power might become divided.”

An undated photo of Kim Jong-il when he was in his 20's.

Meanwhile NHK broadcasted a story that as far back as June of this year, Kim Jong-un’s birth year has been taken back by one or two years so that his official birth year will appear as 1982.  This would make Kim Jong-un 30 years old in 2012, the year ofkangson taeguk. This would chronologically align him with his grandfather, the late DPRK President Kim Il-sung who was born in 1912 and Kim Jong-il’s contrived birth year of 1942 (even though General-Secretary Kim was born in 1941).  Not only three generations, but three symmetrical generations at that.  Another note about 1982: it was the first year Kim Jong-il took on a State position when he was seated as a deputy to the 7th Supreme People’s Assembly.

Chosun Ilbo features a brief write-up of the NHK story which will have to suffice because I currently can not find the link to the video of the story.


This article was written on 11 Dec 2009, and is filled under Kim Family, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, leadership succession, succession.

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