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Digital Archive International History Declassified


Kim Jeong-cheol

James E. Hoare

Kim Jeong-cheol is the second son of the late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, the brother of Kim Jong Un, and the half-brother of Kim Jeong-nam.


KIM JEONG-CHEOL (1981- ). Kim Jeong-cheol is the second son of the late Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Il and Ko Yeong-hui, and thus the brother of Kim Jong Un and half-brother of Kim Jeong-nam. He was educated at the Mangyeongdae Revolutionary School and in Switzerland. According to the Japanese chef Fujimoto Kenji, who worked for Kim Jong Il in the 1990s, the latter had little time for Kim Jeong-cheol, whom he described as “like a little girl.’‘ In 2007, he was appointed as deputy chief of the leadership division of the Korean Workers’ Party, which led to speculation that he was being groomed to succeed his father. This proved unfounded. He is thought to be a fan of the rock singer Eric Clapton. He was reportedly filmed at one of Clapton’s concerts in Germany in 2006 and identified by some of his former schoolmates. There were also reports that he attended another Clapton concert in Singapore in February 2011. In 2008, the DPRK embassy in London stated publicly that Eric Clapton would perform in Pyongyang, but no concert materialized. Kim Jeong-cheol is also reported to be interested in computers. He was not listed as a member of Kim Jong Il’s funeral committee in December 2011, and there has been no mention of him since his father’s death and the succession of his brother Kim Jong Un.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).