North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

You Say It's Your Birthday


Sam Kim has a great report in Yonhap about a Friday Rodong Sinmun editorial that callson North Korean citizens to “toast, toast to the endlessly bright future of Chosun (North Korea) that will resemble the shape of the sun and the holy land of Baekdu.”


The Chosun Ilbo cites North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity which claims that 8 January (today) is being commemorated as Kim Jong-un’s birthday.  The KWP Central Committee sent out a memo which “the secretariat stressed the need to formally designate Jan. 8 as a national day to celebrate Kim junior’s birthday and called him ‘our eternal future’ and ‘another leader who has perfectly inherited the Baekdu lineage.'”  The DPRK is also reported to have bought stores of fireworks on the pretext of the Morningstar General’s birthday celebrations.  AFP reports that recent rallies in provincial cities celebrated Kim Jong-un’s birthday.    These rallies were held in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, and Kanggye, Jagang Province on 3 January, and in Nampho and other provincial cities from 4 to 7 January.

If a birthday celebration does not happen today or over the weekend, other dates to watch may be Kim Jong-il’s birthday on 16 February, Kim Il-sung’s multi-day birthday celebrations in mid-April (a good time also to observe KPA promotions) and the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party in October.  We may also want to look to the month of June.  There was a media report that when Kim Jong-un’s birthday was moved from 1984/83 to 1982, his birth month was changed to June.  June is also the month that Kim Jong-un’s late mother, Ko Yong-hui, was born.

An affiliate of 38 North