Kim Jong-il

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Eternal General Secretary

Kim Jong-il

Official portrait of comrade Kim Jong-il
Born1942 February 16
Paektusan Camp, Korea
Died2011 December 17 (aged 69)
Pyongyang, DPRK
Cause of deathHeart attack
Political orientationJuche
Political partyWorkers' Party of Korea

Kim Jong-il (1942 February 16 – 2011 December 17) was the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea from 1997 to 2011 and Eternal General Secretary since his death. He was the son of Eternal President Kim Il-sung and father of current leader Kim Jong-un. The DPRK's constitution describes him as a "peerless patriot and defender of socialist Korea."[1] A poll in 2011 showed that 55% of defectors in South Korea believe that the majority of the DPRK's population supported Kim Jong-il.[2]

Early life

Kim Jong-il's birthplace at Mount Paektu

Kim Jong-il was born on February 16, 1942 in the secret Paektusan camp.[3]

He was involved with the Democratic Youth League when he was young and published his first works at the age of 23.[4] He became vice-chairman of his school's DYL branch in 1957.[5]

Political career

Central Committee

Kim was elected to the central committee of the WPK in 1964.[5]

He became Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army in 1991 and General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in 1997.[4]

General Secretary (1997–2011)

Kim Jong-il in 2001

Under Kim's leadership, Korea overcame flooding and economic crisis caused by the overthrow of the Soviet Union. He mobilized the KPA to increase production capacity in record time and introduced the policy of Songun (military first).[5]

Kim died of a heart attack on 17 December 2011, at the age of 69.

International support

In 2023, organizations from Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia,[6] the DR Congo, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan,[7] Nepal, Australia, Uganda,[8] Lebanon, and Romania sent messages congratulating Kim Jong-il.[9]


As of July 2023, there are 55 volumes of Kim Jong-il's complete works, which include all of his works up to May 1997.[10]

Library works


  1. Pak Thae-song (2019). Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: 'Preamble'. Pyongyang.
  2. "Socialism and Democracy in the DPRK" (2017-03-28). Write to Rebel. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  3. "Special feature: The Day of Shining Star" (2023-02-15). Pyongyang Times. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 LYC Honors Kim Jong-il (2022-01-11). Red Patriot. Archived from the original on 2022-01-11.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Comrade Kim Jong Il’s lifelong contribution to the Korean revolution" (2021-07-23). Lalkar. Archived from the original on 2022-05-21. Retrieved 2022-12-04.
  6. "Chairman Kim Jong Il Praised Abroad" (2023-06-20). Rodong Sinmun. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  7. "Chairman Kim Jong Il’s Party-building Exploits Lauded Abroad" (2023-07-01). Rodong Sinmun. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  8. "Chairman Kim Jong Il’s Exploits Lauded in Different Countries" (2023-06-22). Rodong Sinmun. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  9. "Chairman Kim Jong Il’s Exploits Lauded Abroad" (2023-06-25). Rodong Sinmun. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  10. ""Complete Collection of Kim Jong Il’s Works" Vol. 55 Published" (2023-07-15). Rodong Sinmun. Retrieved 2023-07-20.