Kim Jong-il's official portrait, issued after his death in 2011.
8 July 1994 – 17 December 2011
8 October 1997 – 17 December 2011
9 April 1993 – 17 December 2011
Eternal Chairman since 13 April 2012
of the Korean People's Army
24 December 1991 – 17 December 2011
|Born||Yuri Irsenovich Kim|
16 February 1941
16 February 1942
|Died||17 December 2011 (aged 70)|
|Years of service||1991–2011|
^ North Korean biographies, which claim his birth date as 16 February 1942, are generally not considered to be factually reliable.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
|Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong Il|
Kim Jong-il (officially
Kim was born in
During Kim's rule, the country suffered
The most common colloquial
Soviet records show that Kim was born Yuri Irsenovich Kim (
However, Kim Jong-il's official biography states he was born in a secret military camp on
In 1945, Kim was four years old when World War II ended and Korea regained
Reports indicate that his mother died in childbirth in 1949.
According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960. He attended Primary School No. 4 and Middle School No. 1 (
Throughout his schooling, Kim was involved in politics. He was active in the Korean Children's Union and the Democratic Youth League of North Korea (DYL), taking part in study groups of Marxist political theory and other literature. In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch (the chairman had to be a teacher). He pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates.
The elder Kim had meanwhile remarried and had another son,