Kim Jong-chul (born 25 September 1981), sometimes spelled Kim Jong
Chol, is a son of North Korean Kim Jong-il. His younger brother is
Kim Jong-un, now the leader of North Korea. His older half-brother was
In 2007, Jong-chul was appointed deputy chief of a leadership division
of the Workers' Party of Korea. However, on 15 January 2009, the South
Yonhap News Agency
Yonhap News Agency reported that
Kim Jong-il appointed his
youngest son, Jong-un, to be his successor, passing over Jong-nam and
These reports were supported in April 2009 when
Kim Jong-un assumed a
low-level position within the ruling Workers' Party, since Kim Jong-il
was groomed by his own father, Kim Il-sung, in a similar way before
becoming North Korean leader in 1994.
1 Early life
2 Heir apparent
5 Further reading
Kim Jong-chul was born in 1981. He is the son of
Kim Jong-il and
companion Ko Yong-hui, who died in 2004. Until 2001, it was assumed
that Kim Jong-il's eventual heir would be his eldest son, Kim
Jong-nam, whose mother was Song Hye-rim. But in May 2001, Kim Jong-nam
was arrested at Narita International Airport, Japan, travelling on a
forged Dominican Republic passport. He was held and then deported
to the People's Republic of China. The incident caused
Kim Jong-il to
cancel a planned visit to China because of the embarrassment to both
countries. As a result of this incident,
Kim Jong-nam fell from
In February 2003, moves began to raise the profile of Kim Jong-chul.
Korean People's Army
Korean People's Army began a propaganda campaign using the slogan
"The Respected Mother is the Most Faithful and Loyal Subject to the
Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander". Since the "Respected Mother"
was described as "[devoting] herself to the personal safety of the
comrade supreme commander", and "[assisting] the comrade supreme
commander nearest to his body", Western analysts assume that the
"Respected Mother" was Ko Yong-hui, mother of
Kim Jong-chul and Kim
Jong-un. A similar campaign was launched in praise of Kim Jong-il's
mother during the later years of Kim Il-sung's life. This suggested
that Kim Jong-chul, despite his youth, had emerged with Army backing
to be a serious contender to succeed his father.
However, Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong-il's personal sushi chef, wrote in
his memoir, I Was Kim Jong-il's Cook, that
Kim Jong-il thought
Jong-chul was "no good because he is like a little girl". Fujimoto
Kim Jong-il favoured his youngest son, Kim Jong-un.
On 1 June 2009, it was reported that
Kim Jong-chul had been passed
over as his younger brother, Kim Jong-un, was to succeed his father as
the head of the
Korean Workers' Party
Korean Workers' Party and de facto head of state of
Kim Jong-chul was reportedly spotted in
Singapore on 14 February 2011,
where he was attending an
Eric Clapton concert. In late 2011, his
father died and his younger brother, Kim Jong-un, succeeded his father
as the head of state. He was again apparently spotted attending two
additional Clapton concerts on successive days at the Royal Albert
Hall in London, in May 2015.
According to Lee Yun-keol (as reported by Wen Wei Po), chairman of the
North Korea Strategy Information Service Center, Kim Jong-chul
personally led the arrest of his uncle Jang Song-thaek. Some
analysts believe that this signals an expanded role for Kim Jong-chul
in the North Korean regime.
Kim Jong-chul does not involve himself in politics, leading a quiet
Pyongyang where he plays guitar in a band, according to Thae
Yong-ho, North Korea's former deputy ambassador in London who defected
to the South. 
Select[α] family tree of North Korea's ruling[β] Kim
^ To keep the tree of manageable size, it omits some members, e. g.,
brothers and sisters of Kim Jong-il.
^ Names of Supreme Leaders of the DPRK (and the name of the article
being viewed, if any) are in bold font.
^ Korean names often have a variety of transliterations into English,
which can be confusing. For example, "Kim Jong-chul" may also be
written "Gim Jeong-cheol" or "Kim Jŏng-ch'ŏl" among many other
Korean romanization for more information.
^ Huss, Kan; Frost, Clay. "North Korea's First Family: Mapping the
personal and political drama of the Kim clan". msnbc.com. Retrieved 20
January 2013. (Confirms many, but not all, of the birth and
death years. See individual articles for more references.)
^ Yan, Holly (16 February 2017). "The world's most mysterious family
tree: Kim Jong Un's secretive dynasty is full of drama, death". Design
by Alberto Mier. CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
^ a b c Official biographies of
Kim Jong-suk and
Kim Jong-il give
birth years of 1917 and 1942, respectively.
Kim Ju-ae may have been
born in late 2012 or early 2013.
North Korea portal
^ Choe Sang-hun (28 April 2009). "Kim's Son Joins North Korean Defense
Panel". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
^ "North Korea's secretive 'first family'". BBC. 15 February 2007.
Retrieved 29 March 2013.
^ a b "Kim Jong Chol - Leadership Succession - Democratic People's
Republic of Korea." Global Security. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
^ "Kim Jong-chul", BBC, 30 September 2010
^ "N Korea 'names Kim's successor'". BBC. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2
^ "Kim Jong-ils 2nd son sighted in Singapore". Korea Times. 15
February 2011. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 30
^ "Kim Jong-un's brother visits London to watch Eric Clapton". BBC
News. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
^ Want China News, "Kim Jong-un's brother led arrest of Jang
Sung-taek: source" Archived 14 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.,
12 December 2013.
^ Zachary Keck and Ankit Panda, "
North Korea Executes Leader's Uncle",
The Diplomat, 13 December 2013.
^ "North Korea's 'princess' now one of the secretive state's top
policy makers". Reuters. 2017.
Bradley Martin, Under The Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North
Korea and the Kim Dynasty, St. Martins (October, 2004), hardcover, 868
pages, ISBN 0-312-32221-6
Kenji Fujimoto. I Was Kim Jong Il's Cook.
Kim dynasty of North Korea
Kim Il-sung (1912–1994)
Kim Jong-il (1941–2011)
Kim Jong-un (1984–)
Kim Hyong-jik (Kim Il-sung's father)
Kang Pan-sok (Kim Il-sung's mother)
Kim Jong-suk (Kim Il-sung's first wife, Jong-il's mother)
Kim Yong-ju (Kim Il-sung's brother)
Kim Song-ae (Kim Il-sung's second wife)
Hong Il-chon (Kim Jong-il's first wife, divorced)
Song Hye-rim (Kim Jong-il's first mistress)
Kim Man-il (Kim Jong-il's brother)
Jang Song-thaek (Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law)
Kim Kyong-hui (Kim Jong-il's sister)
Kim Young-sook (Kim Jong-il's wife)
Ko Yong-hui (Kim Jong-il's second mistress, Jong-un's mother)
Kim Pyong-il (Kim Jong-il's half-brother)
Kim Ok (Kim Jong-il's third mistress)
Kim Yo-jong (Kim Jong-un's sister)
Kim Jong-chul (Kim Jong-un's brother)
Kim Sul-song (Kim Jong-un's half-sister)
Kim Jong-nam (Kim Jong-un's half-brother)
Ri Sol-ju (Kim Jong-un's wife)
Kim Ju-ae (Kim Jong-un's daughter)
Kim Han-sol (K