Kim Jong Un Biography
let’s take a look at how rich Kim Jong Un actually is, and how NorthKorea’s Dear Leader really spends his fortune. The secretive nation of North Korea is home to twenty-five million citizens who, for the most part, live in extreme poverty and isolation.
The average North Korean only earns around two-thousand dollars a year, and it’s estimated that upwards of forty percent of the population is severely undernourished. It’s no secret that Kim Jong Un is the richest man in North Korea, but exactly how rich is he? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer.
North Korea is often referred to as a hermit kingdom because of how isolated and cut-off from the rest of the world the country is. The leaders of North Korea control every detail of their citizen’s lives, including the media and internet access, so getting accurate information about the secretive country is difficult, to say the least.
No official estimates of Kim Jong Un’s wealth exist, so he was excluded from the Forbes list of the world’s richest people. However, Forbes did list him as the thirty-sixth most powerful man in the world, since he has absolute control over his country and its people. In 2013, a joint South Korean and American investigation set out to determine exactly how much Kim Jong Un is worth.
Based on what little information they could scrape together after months of tireless research, they determined that Kim Jong Un has a net worth of at least five billion dollars, hidden away under false names in secret foreign bank accounts in places like Austria, Switzerland, Russia, and Liechtenstein, just to name a few.
The bulk of his fortune appears to be held in China, where many accounts with millions of dollars in cash in them can be traced back to the Supreme Leader and his family. If this estimate is right, a five billion-dollar net worth would rank him near number three-hundred and twenty on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people, alongside some of the world’s most successful financiers and media moguls.
Kim Jong Un was certainly born into a rich and powerful family, but he never expected to have the level of wealth and power that he now enjoys. As the second son of his father, previous supreme Leader Kim Jong Il, his older brother Kim Jong-Chul, was favored to be the next leader of North Korea. But all that changed when Kim Jong-Chul was caught trying to enter Japan with a false passport.
He claimed that he simply wanted to visit Disneyland in Tokyo, but the damage was done – he had embarrassed the North Korean regime, and his position as favorite son went to his younger brother, Kim Jong Un, who many considered to be a carbon-copy of his father.
Kim Jong Un also had another half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam, who had enjoyed his father’s favor for a few years. This must have made him a threat in Kim Jong-un’s eyes because after he came to power, Kim Jong-Nam was attacked with a nerve agent a Malaysian airport and assassinated in 2017. So, now that Kim Jong Un has secured his hold on his unlimited power and wealth, how does he actually go about spending his fortune?
Does he spend it on improving the lives of his people and bringing North Korea out of the dark ages? no. Kim Jong Un was raised in a lifestyle of luxury, and his tastes have only gotten more exorbitant since he took power. Kim Jong Un attended high school at a Swiss boarding school under a false name, and that may be where he developed his penchant for luxury watches.
According to some sources, Kim Jong Un has a personal watch collection worth more than eight million dollars. Kim and his wife are often seen wearing expensive watches, and he frequently uses luxury timepieces as gifts for high-ranking Party members. In recent years, though, Kim has had trouble getting his fix of the luxury of watches from Switzerland, after the UN banned the export of luxury goods to North Korea in reaction to their nuclear program.
Former schoolmates of Kim Jong Un, who knew him back then as Pak Un, the son of an embassy worker, also remember his obsession with basketball. Apparently, basketball is a family tradition- Kim’s father Kim Jong Il was a huge Chicago Bulls fan, and he even tried – unsuccessfully- to arrange for Bulls superstar Michael Jordan to visit the Hermit Kingdom during his reign.
Kim Jong Un must have felt like he was living in a childhood dream come true in 2013 when basketball legend and Hall of Famer DennisRodman made his first visit to North Korea. The controversial star has been back to NorthKorea many times since and has called himself a “friend for life” of the Supreme Leader.
While upwards of 40% of the population ofNorth Korea is undernourished, Kim Jong Un enjoys stuffing himself full of the finest food from around the world. It’s estimated that he spends millions of dollars a year feeding himself and his innermost circle with the world’s best cuisine. Kim favors the finest-quality pork from Denmark, black Iranian caviar, Japanese Kobe beef, and fresh melons from China, all while his people subsist on a meager diet of rice and kimchi.
Another habit he picked up from boarding school in Switzerland was an obsession with cheese. According to some inside sources, Kim’sdiet consists almost completely of cheese, and that he has been known to make himself so sick that he’s had to take breaks from public life after gorging himself on shipments of Emmentaler cheese from Switzerland.
Some believe he’s intentionally trying to fatten up to look more like his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the much revered and rotund first Supreme Leader of North Korea. In a country where most people are starving, a full figure is seen as a symbol of wealth, and his weight gain might be meant to signal to his people that Kim is so rich that he can afford to eat himself to death. Kim Jong Un may have inherited his love of food from his father, as well. In 1997, Kim Jong Il hired the first Italian chef in North Korea, strictly to make pizza for the ruling family and their elite circles.
Both Kim and his father were said to “go crazy” for pizza covered in meat – ham, pepperoni, prosciutto – they ate it all up. No fine dining experience would be complete without a drink to wash down all that rich food, and of course, Kim Jong Un has the finest tastes in drinks, too. He reportedly spends nearly thirty million dollars a year importing Hennessy whiskey and the world’s finest champagnes to pair with his pizza and cheese.
He also spends nearly a million dollars a year importing the finest Brazilian coffee. And of course, Kim Jong Un can’t truly enjoy the world’s fine coffee and most expensive liquors without a luxury cigarette! Kim, an avid smoker, is said to prefer imported french cigarettes that cost nearly fifty dollars a pack and carries them in a 165 dollar couture case.
His love of cigarettes is so deep, in fact, that the investigators who looked into his finances back in 2013 are convinced that a huge portion of Kim Jong Un’s wealth comes from the manufacturing of illegal drugs and cigarettes. Kim seems to have no reservations about building his fortune in the black market – experts also estimate that North Korea makes at least fifteen million dollars a year from counterfeit currencies, and the UN estimates that NorthKorean hackers have stolen more than two billion dollars from the global financial system.
Kim Jong Un has no trouble spending away from the results of his regime’s nefarious activities, and his diet is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his outrageous spending. In 2012, human rights organizations put pressure on world leaders to stop exporting luxury goods to North Korea while its people continue to starve. The official regime had been spending nearly650 million dollars each year on imported luxuries like exotic pets, electronics, and perfumes for its elites, while its people continue to live in utter poverty.
Kim Jong Un is without a doubt the main beneficiary of the regime’s lavish spending. Although he rarely leaves his Hermit Kingdom North Korea, the Supreme Leader travels around his domain in style. He owns more than a hundred luxury cars, including an armored Rolls Royce Phantom Seven worth at least half a million dollars, and a collection of more than thirty Mercedes Benz that he inherited from his father.
His father was a Mercedes Benz aficionado, and his favorite vehicle was the S600 Pullman Guard limousine, an armored limo that can withstand full metal jacket bullets and grenades, and comes with a cool 1.5 million dollar price tag. Kim is also rumored to have an Audi R8 V10first generation – one of these highly desirable supercars was confirmed to be included ina shipment of forty-two Audis from China to North Korea, and it could only have been meant for one man in the entire country. And that’s just his personal fleet – as the absolute leader of North Korea,
Kim Jong Un also “owns” the nation’s military fleet, with vehicles like the nine-axle Transporter Erector Launcher, capable of carrying and launching North Korea’s most powerful missiles. For longer trips, like his January 2019 trip to celebrate his birthday in China, Kim Jong Un travels in first-class style on board his personal armored train.
After boarding the train via a red-carpeted ramp, Kim can relax in plush pink leather chairs, sip some French wine and nibble on some Swiss cheese, or, he can dictate orders to his minions from his onboard conference table and work on his secret plans on one of the many on-board Apple computers.
And of course, an on-board chef is on hand to satisfy the Supreme Leader’s slightest craving, serving up a menu of cuisines from around the world on-demand. As if a bullet-proof train and fleet of luxury cars wasn’t enough, Kim Jong Un also has his own private plane, a 1.5 million dollar decades-old Soviet-made jetliner nicknamed “Air Force Un”.
To top it all off, he also owns one of the world’s finest luxury yachts, a seven million dollar, 200 foot long floating pleasure palace that Dennis Rodman called a “cross between a ferry and a Disney boat”. With all the luxury transportation options you could dream of at his fingertips,
Kim Jong Un is able to travel in style between seventeen-plus luxury homes and estates around the country. His main home is a nuclear attack-proof estate called the Central Luxury Mansion, located in the capital of Pyongyang and complete with its own underground train station. When he needs to kick back and relax, Kim can spend some time at the world-class luxury ski resort he ordered to be built shortly after he took power, or,
he can spend some time on his private island, which has its own shooting range and theatre. Dennis Rodman spent time on Kim’s island during his 2013 visit and called it a “seven-star party” lifestyle full of the best food, booze, and luxuries the world has to offer. When it comes to the strangest ways that KimJong Un chooses to blow his fortune, though, it might just have to be his collection of thoroughbred racehorses, which he uses extensively in his propaganda photos.
Kim Jong Un has reportedly spent more than half a million dollars importing horses since he rose to power. While Kim Jong Un has introduced a few reforms during his reign, and he does project a more laid-back persona than his father and grandfather did, he definitely has a dark side. He appears to have systematically executed anyone he considers a threat to his power, including his own brother and uncle, and while the North Korean people starve, their Dear Leader goes on spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on fine food and other luxuries.
I guess no one ever told him that great power comes with great responsibility.