North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is, without a doubt, one of the most mysterious and terrifying individuals on the planet. But he didn’t get that way all on his own. As it turns out, his family tree is made up of many secrets and shocking events. Here’s a look at the dark underbelly of North Korea’s Kim family.
Jong-un could be a traitor, because of his grandfather
Well, at least this is potentially true. When Jong-un’s grandfather was North Korea’s ruler, he passed a law that aided imprisoning anyone in the country that had ties to enemy nation Japan. But Business Insider reveals that Japanese activist Ken Kato possesses documents showing that Jong-un’s other grandfather, Ko Gyon-tek, worked with the Japanese in World War II. If the documents are real — and if the stories are true — it would mean that Jong-un belongs in jail. Such an event could bring down the entire Kim dynasty.
Jong Un’s mother was actually a mistress
Taking a look at the Kim family tree, we see that Jong-un’s father, late dictator Kim Jong-Il, had two wives and a few mistresses. Jong Un’s mother, Ko Yong-hui, is listed as Jung Il’s second wife. However, there are accounts that believe that Ko Yong-hui — a Japanese dancer, no less — was actually one of Jong-Il’s mistresses.
The relationship with Kim Jong-Il
Leader Kim Jong-Il was well-known for his scary military tactics. But less was known about his relationship with his family, particularly with his youngest son and successor Kim Jong-un. But judging by how alike the two erratically-behaved men are, it’s assumed that Jong-un was Jong-Il’s favorite son. Being a miniature version of his father wasn’t necessarily a good thing, however, as it’s reported that Jong-un maintained a violent disposition since a very early age.
His wife’s name can’t even be confirmed
The ins and outs of the Kim family are largely kept a secret, including information about Kim Jong-un’s wife, Ri Sol-ju. Ri is so mysterious that it’s possible her name isn’t even real. The New York Times points out that Ri’s name and age have never been officially confirmed by Jong-un’s regime, and that this could be a tactic to keep her shielded from the rest of the world — even when she makes a rare public appearance.
Kim Jong-un’s secret son
It was previously believed that Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju had two children together. However, reports began to surface in September of 2017 that there may be a third child. South Korean intelligence has reportedly uncovered evidence that the dictator and his wife had a son back in 2010 — and that Jong-un could already be grooming this son to be Korea’s next dictator.
Family that have been killed
Sadly, the fear and violence that the Kim family has imposed on North Korea also extends to its own family. Kim Jong-un is believed to be behind the assassination of his half-brother Kim Jong-nam, which occurred almost exactly 20 years after a cousin, Ri Il-nam, was assassinated in an elevator.
There are, happily, family members that have met a much better fate …
The secret aunt in the U.S.
In May of 2016, The Washington Post sat down with Ko Yong-sok — Kim Jong-un’s aunt who lives state-side. She and her husband defected from North Korea in the 1990s and have lived a quiet, private life in New York. Although, they have also aided the CIA, who helped bring them to the states in the first place.
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