The Kim Dynasty: Inside North Korea's secretive 'first family'
Tue, February 14, 2017
The fate of the ruling Kim's family of North Korea, the world's only hereditary totalitarian Stalinist state.
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KIM JONG-SUK: North Korean founder Kim Il-sung and his first wife Kim Jong-suk gave birth to their son Kim Jong-il in 1941.
North Korea has warned that it is "ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US” after a US Navy aircraft carrier was deployed into the Sea of Japan.
Kim Jong-un’s state-owned news agency KCNA quoted the foreign ministry as saying: “We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.”
Donald Trump has warned that an “armada” is heading towards North Korea in response to the growing threat of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme.
"We are sending an armada. Very powerful," Mr Trump told Fox Business Network. "We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”
There are mounting fears that Kim Jong-un could order a nuclear test to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather Kim Il-sung on Saturday.
As tensions continue to grow, here is a look at the Kim family tree.
Kim Il-sung was the first supreme leader of North Korea
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Kim Jong-un’s grandfather Kim Il-sung was North Korea’s first president and supreme leader from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.
The presidency was abolished after his death, and he is now known as the Eternal President.
Under his rule, North Korea became a communist state at war with its southern neighbour. In 1950 he ordered the invasion of South Korea, starting a war that lasted for five years and killed five million.
Kim Il-sung had two sons with his first wife Kim Jong-suk – Kim Jong-il and Kim Man-il, who died in 1947 in a swimming accident.
After Kim Jong-suk died in 1949, Kim Il-sung later remarried to Kim Sung-ae, with whom he had three children: Kim Yŏng-il, Kim Kyŏng-il and Kim Pyong-il.
He reportedly also had several illegitimate children.
Kim Il-sung was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il was named heir apparent by the early 1980s, and became supreme leader after his father’s death.
Under his rule, North Korea abandoned the armistice that ended the Korean War, and began testing and developing illegal nuclear weapons.
His regime was accused of “crimes against humanity” for creating and prolonging a famine which killed up to three million between 1994 and 1998.
Kim Jong-il’s first marriage to Hong Il-chon lasted for three years and resulted in a daughter, Kim Hye-kyun.
His second wife, Kim Yong-hui, bore him two sons – Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-un, and a daughter named Kim Yo-jong.
He also had several mistresses and two illegitimate children – Kim Yo-jong and Kim Jong-nam who was assassinated in February 2017.
Kim Jong-nam was assassinated earlier this year
Kim Jong-nam never met his half-brother Kim Jong-un due to ancient practice of raising potential successors separately.
He was sent to school in Switzerland and his existence was kept secret until his father took power, after which he was considered the heir apparent.
In 2001 he was arrested in Japan after travelling on a forged passport using a Chinese alias. He claimed that he was travelling to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Shortly after the incident Kim Jong-un was named the new heir apparent. Kim Jong-nam has said that he fell out of favour because his father viewed him as a “capitalist after living abroad for many years”.
Kim Jong-nam was publicly killed at a Malaysian airport in February 2017. Two women have been charged with murdering him using a nerve agent.
South Korean intelligence has pinned the assassination on Pyongyang.
Ri Sol-ju, wife of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un
Wed, April 12, 2017
Kim Jong-un was reportedly married to Ri Sol-ju in 2012, but very little is know about her. She has taken long spells away from public appearances, reputedly due to pregnancy. She is thought to have visited South Korea as part of a North Korean cheerleading team to the Asian Athletics Championships in 2005
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Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju watch a joint performance by the State Merited Chorus and the Moranbong Band to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea
Very little is known about Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju, who is thought to be in her late 20s.
She was first pictured accompanying her husband to an event in summer 2012, and in July North Korean state media confirmed that they were married.
It is thought that the wedding took place in 2009 as Mr Kim prepared to succeed his father Kim Jong-il.
“The late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il arranged his youngest son's marriage in a hurry after suffering a stroke in 2008,” analyst Cheong Seong-chang said.
There have been reports that Kim Jong-un welcomed a baby in 2010, but it is unknown whether Ms Ri is the child’s mother.
“Ri Sol-ju performed on stage in 2010 as a member of the Unhasu Orchestra, when Kim Jong-un became the father of his first child," the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted a diplomatic source in Beijing as saying.
“In North Korea, it is unthinkable for a pregnant first lady to perform on stage.”
In December 2012, Ms Ri appeared to be sporting a large baby bump as she attended a memorial to Kim Jong-il. Months later Kim Jong-un’s friend, the basketball star Dennis Rodman, revealed that she had recently given birth to a baby daughter named Ju-ae.
There was speculation last year that Ms Ri had fallen out of favour with the Kim family after she was not seen in public for nine months.
Some suggested that she might have had a disagreement with her husband’s sister Kim Yo-jong, who is responsible for establishing Kim Jong-un’s cult of personality.
Fears that Ms Ri might have been executed were assuaged in December, when she was pictured attending an air combat training competition with her husband.
Kim Jong-un has given his sister Kim Yo-jong a senior position in his corrupt government
Kim Yo-jong is Kim Jong-un’s younger sister and a leading figure in his corrupt communist government.
She first came to prominence when she was pictured attending her father’s funeral service and was identified as a senior official in Pyongyang in 2014.
When Kim Jong-un underwent medical treatment in October 2014, it is believed that Kim Yo-jong filled in as leader.
Since 2015 she has been in charge of North Korea’s Propaganda and Agitation Department. She is responsible for developing her brother’s cult of personality, and according to defector Thay Yong-ho, organises all public events.