The Info List - Ko Yong-hui

Ko Yong-hui[1] (Hangul: 고용희; Hanja: 高容姬; 26 June 1952 – 24 May 2004),[2][3][4] also spelled Ko Young-hee, was the North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-il's consort and mother of North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong-un. Within North Korea she is only referred to by titles, such as "The Respected Mother who is the Most Faithful and Loyal 'Subject' to the Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander", "The Mother of Pyongyang", and "The Mother of Great Songun Korea."[5][6][7]


1 Biography 2 Cult of personality 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Biography[edit] Born in Osaka, Japan.[8] Ko's birth date and Japanese name in Japanese official records are 26 June 1952 and Takada Hime, respectively.[4] Her father, Ko Gyon-tek, worked in an Osaka
sewing factory run by Japan's ministry of war.[9][10] She, along with her family, moved to North Korea in May 1961 or in 1962 as part of a repatriation program.[4][11] In the early 1970s, she began working as a dancer for the Mansudae Art Troupe in Pyongyang.[12] Her younger sister Ko Yong-suk sought asylum from the U.S. embassy in Bern, Switzerland while she was living there taking care of Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
during his school days, according to South Korea's National Intelligence Service; U.S. officials arranged Ko Yong-suk's departure from the country without consulting South Korean officials.[13] It is thought that Ko and Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
first met in 1972.[12] In 1981, Ko gave birth to son Kim Jong-chul, her first child with Kim. It was Kim's third child, after son Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-nam
(born 1971 to Song Hye-rim), and daughter Kim Sol-song (born 1974 to Kim Young-sook). Kim Jong-il's second child with Ko, the present North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, followed one to three years after Jong-chul. Their third child, Kim Yo-jong, a daughter, was believed to be about 23 in 2012.[14][15] However, the birth year of Kim Yo-jong
Kim Yo-jong
is also given as 1987.[12] On 27 August 2004, various sources reported that she had died in Paris from unspecific illness, probably of breast cancer.[16] However, there is another report, stating that she was treated in Paris
in the spring of 2004 and flown back to Pyongyang
where she fell into a coma and died in August 2004.[17] In 2012, Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
built a grave for Ko on Mount Taesong.[18][19] Cult of personality[edit] Under North Korea's songbun ascribed status system, Ko's Korean-Japanese heritage would make her part of the lowest "hostile" class. Furthermore, her father worked in a sewing factory for the Imperial Japanese Army, which would give her the "lowest imaginable status qualities" for a North Korean.[4] Prior to an internal propaganda film released after the ascension of Kim Jong-un, there were three attempts made to idolize Ko, in a style similar to that associated with Kang Pan-sok, mother of Kim Il-sung, and Kim Jong-suk, mother of Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
and the first wife of Kim Il-sung.[20] These previous attempts at idolization failed and were stopped after Kim Jong-il's 2008 stroke.[4] The building of a cult of personality around Ko encounters the problem of her bad songbun, even though it is usually passed on by the father.[21] Making her identity public would undermine the Kim dynasty's pure bloodline,[4] and after Kim Jong-il's death, her personal information, including name, became state secrets.[20] Ko's real name and other personal details have not been publicly revealed in North Korea, and she is referred to as "Mother of Great Songun Korea" or "Great Mother". The most recent propaganda film called its main character "Lee Eun-mi". See also[edit]

Biography portal North Korea portal

List of Korea-related topics List of Koreans Politics of North Korea History of North Korea Songbun

v t e

Select[α] family tree of North Korea's ruling[β] Kim family[γ][δ][ε]

Kim Bo-hyon 1871–1955

Kim Hyong-jik 1894–1926

Kang Pan-sok 1892–1932

Kim Jong-suk 1919[ζ]–1949

Kim Il-sung 1912–1994

Kim Song-ae 1924–2014

Kim Yong-ju 1920–

Kim Young-sook 1947–

Song Hye-rim 1937–2002

Kim Jong-il 1941[ζ]–2011

Ko Yong-hui 1952–2004

Kim Ok 1964–

Kim Kyong-hui 1946–

Jang Song-thaek 1946–2013

Kim Pyong-il 1954–

Kim Sol-song 1974–

Kim Jong-nam 1971–2017

Kim Jong-chul 1981–

Kim Jong-un 1984–

Ri Sol-ju c. 1986–

Kim Yo-jong 1987–

Kim Han-sol 1995–

Kim Ju-ae c. 2012[ζ]–


^ 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 variations. See Korean romanization
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
Kim Jong-suk
and Kim Jong-il
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 leader lies in state". BBC. 18 December 2011. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011.  ^ Yoo Kwang-seok (9 December 2015). "김정은 이모부 "고영희 본명은 고용희…권력 비정함 때문에 망명"". KBS News (in Korean). Seoul. Retrieved 10 December 2015.  ^ Kim Jong-hyeon (2 August 2012). "北 김정은 어머니 고영희 묘비명은 '고용희'". Yonhap
(in Korean). Tokyo. Retrieved 10 December 2015.  ^ a b c d e f Ko Young-ki (26 June 2012). "Happy Birthday, Koh Young Hee". Daily NK. Retrieved 29 March 2013.  ^ Lintner, Bertil (2005) Great leader, dear leader: demystifying North Korea under the Kim Clan Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai, Thailand, page 107, ISBN 974-9575-69-5 ^ French, Paul (2007) North Korea: the paranoid peninsula — a modern history (2nd edition) Zed Books, London, page 267, ISBN 978-1-84277-905-7 ^ Yang Jung-a (30 June 2012). "North Korea: The Glorification Nation". Daily NK. Retrieved 29 March 2013.  ^ Kokita, Kiyohito (1 December 2010). " Osaka
black mark in Kim's life?". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 3 December 2010. ; see Kokita Kiyohito, Tessa Morris-Suzuki and Mark Selden, Ko Tae Mun, Ko Chung Hee, and the Osaka
Family Origins of North Korean Successor Kim Jong Un, The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 1 No 2, 3 January 2011. ^ Ko Dong-hwan (24 December 2013). "NK leader's secret 'pro-Japanese' family history revealed". The Korea Times. Seoul. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.  ^ Mark Willacy, Kim Jong-un's grandfather 'was Japanese collaborator', ABC News 11 May 2012 ^ Takahashi, Kosuke (14 July 2012). "Young general comes out as mother's boy". Asia Times. Retrieved 29 March 2013.  ^ a b c Ko Young-ki (31 May 2011). "Ko Young Hee Image Uncovered". Daily NK. Retrieved 29 March 2013.  ^ "Kim Jong-un's aunt fled to U.S.; She and husband sought asylum in 1998, had cosmetic surgery". JoongAng Ilbo. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.  ^ Lee Young-jong; Kim Hee-jin (8 August 2012). "Kim Jong-un's sister is having a ball". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.  ^ "Kim Yo Jong". North Korea Leadership Watch. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.  ^ Hart, Joyce (2007) Kim Jong II: Leader of North Korea Rosen Publishing Group, New York, page 60, ISBN 978-1-4042-1901-4 ^ Brooke, James (27 August 2004). "A Mystery About a Mistress in North Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 March 2013.  ^ " Ko Yong-hui
Ko Yong-hui
Grave". Radio Free Asia. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.  ^ Curtis Melvin (8 April 2016). "Kim Jong-un's mother's grave (Ko Yong-hui)". NK Economy Watch. Retrieved 16 October 2016.  ^ a b Cho Jong-ik (30 July 2012). ""Great Mother" revealed to World". Daily NK. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  ^ Andrei Lankov
Andrei Lankov
(3 December 2011). "North Korea's new class system". Asia Times. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

BBC News obituary

v t e

Kim dynasty of North Korea

Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
(1912–1994) Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
(1941–2011) Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un

1st generation

Kim Hyong-jik
Kim Hyong-jik
(Kim Il-sung's father) Kang Pan-sok
Kang Pan-sok
(Kim Il-sung's mother)

2nd generation

Kim Jong-suk
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)

3rd generation

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
Jang Song-thaek
(Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law) Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's sister) Kim Young-sook (Kim Jong-il's wife) Ko Yong-hui
Ko Yong-hui
(Kim Jong-il's second mistress, Jong-un's mother) Kim Pyong-il
Kim Pyong-il
(Kim Jong-il's half-brother) Kim Ok
Kim Ok
(Kim Jong-il's third mistress)

4th generation

Kim Yo-jong
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-nam
(Kim Jong-un's half-brother) Ri Sol-ju (Kim Jong-un's wife)

5th generation

Kim Ju-ae (Kim Jong-un's daughter) Kim Han-sol (Kim Jon