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Chronology of N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un

All News 09:46 November 21, 2021

Seoul, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronology of major events related to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's ascent to power and his subsequent power consolidation, weapons development and handling of state affairs.


Sept. 28 -- Kim Jong-un emerges as a member of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and vice chairman of the party's Central Military Commission in a move heralding him as heir to his father and then leader Kim Jong-il.


Dec. 17 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies.

Dec. 30 -- Kim Jong-un is elected the supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA).


April 11 -- Kim Jong-il is posthumously named the "eternal general secretary" of the WPK. Kim Jong-un is elected the first secretary of the WPK, a member of the WPK Politburo Standing Committee, chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission.

April 13 -- North Korea admits its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite failed to enter orbit after its launch aboard a long-range rocket, Unha-3.

-- Kim Jong-il is named the "eternal chairman" of the National Defence Commission (NDC).

-- Kim Jong-un is named the first chairman of the NDC in a constitutional revision.

April 15 -- Kim Jong-un makes his first public speech during a military parade to mark the centennial anniversary of the birth of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, saying he will "uphold Kim Jong-il's dying wishes."

July 6 -- Kim Jong-un's wife, Ri Sol-ju, makes her first appearance during a performance marking the launch of the Moranbong Band.

July 15 -- Ri Yong-ho, the Chief of the General Staff of the KPA, is purged.

July 17 -- Kim Jong-un is given the title of Marshal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Dec. 12 -- North Korea launches the second Unha-3 rocket and successfully puts the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite in the Earth's orbit.


Jan. 1 -- Kim Jong-un delivers the New Year's address -- the first verbal speech by a North Korean leader since his grandfather's address in 1994.

Jan. 23 -- The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) adopts Resolution 2087 on the North's launch of a long-range rocket.

Feb. 12 -- North Korea conducts its third nuclear test.

March 7 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2094

March 31 -- Kim Jong-un announces the "byongjin" policy of simultaneously pursuing nuclear and economic development.

April 2 -- North Korea says it plans to restart a 5-megawatt reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Dec. 8 -- The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirms the purge of Jang Song-thaek, leader Kim's powerful uncle and former NDC vice chairman.


Jan. 1 -- Kim Jong-un calls for improvement in inter-Korean relations in a New Year's message.

Feb. 12 -- The two Koreas hold high-level talks and agree to hold reunions of separated families and end mutual slander.

Feb. 20 -- The two Koreas hold reunions of separated families at Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast.

March 9 -- Kim Yo-jong, the leader's younger sister, makes her first appearance in North Korean media, which reported on her accompanying leader Kim at a public event.

April 9 -- Kim Jong-un is reelected as the first NDC chairman during the first session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly.


Aug. 4 -- Two South Korean Army officers get seriously wounded after the explosion of North Korean wooden-box landmines in the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Aug. 20 -- The two Koreas exchange fire after the North launched shells toward a South Korean frontline Army unit in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province.

Aug. 22 -- The two Koreas hold high-level talks

Oct. 20 -- The two Koreas hold reunions of separated families at Mount Kumgang.


Jan. 6 -- North Korea conducts the fourth nuclear test and claims its first hydrogen bomb test was carried out successfully.

Feb. 7 -- North Korea launches the long-range rocket "Kwangmyongsong" and places the "Kwangmyongsong-4" satellite into orbit.

Feb. 10 -- South Korea announces its decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North's border city of the same name.

March 2 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2270 on the fourth nuclear test.

May 6 -- The WPK holds the seventh party congress. Kim Jong-un declares North Korea as a "responsible" nuclear weapons state. Kim, elected chairman of the WPK, puts forward a five-year economic development plan.

June 29 -- The State Affairs Commission (SAC) is created to replace the NDC. Kim Jong-un is elected the SAC chairman.

Sept. 9 -- North Korea conducts the fifth nuclear test.

Nov. 30 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2321.


June 2 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2356 on ballistic missile launches and other related activities since September 2016.

July 6 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in unveils the "Berlin Initiative" aimed at promoting inter-Korean cooperation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Aug. 5 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2371 in response to the North's launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

Sept. 3 -- North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test. It claims the blast was a successful test of a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted on an ICBM.

Sept. 11 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2375 on the sixth nuclear test.

Nov. 29 -- North Korea fires the new ICBM, the Hwasong-15. Kim Jong-un declares the completion of the country's nuclear force.

Dec. 22 -- The UNSC adopts Resolution 2397 for the ICBM test.


Jan. 1 -- Kim Jong-un delivers New Year's message, saying he will consider sending a delegation to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Feb. 9 -- Kim Yo-jong and Kim Yong-nam, the North's ceremonial head of state, attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics.

Mar. 25-28 -- Kim Jong-un visits Beijing for his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

April 27 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un hold their first summit on the South's side of the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom. They sign the Panmunjom Declaration, affirming their shared commitment to the complete denuclearization of the peninsula.

May 7-8 -- Kim Jong-un visits Dalian, China, for his second summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

May 24 -- North Korea shuts down its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

May 26 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un hold their second summit on the North's side of the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom.

June 12 -- Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump hold their first summit in Singapore. They sign a joint statement under which the North agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the peninsula, with both sides committing to establishing new bilateral ties.

June 19-20 -- Kim Jong-un visits Beijing for his third summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Sept. 14 -- The inter-Korean liaison office opens in the North's border city of Kaesong to support cross-border exchanges and cooperation.

Sept. 18-20 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits Pyongyang for a third summit with Kim Jong-un. The two leaders sign the Sept. 19 Pyongyang Joint Declaration on inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation.

Dec. 30 -- Kim Jong-un sends a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, calling for continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the peninsula.


Jan. 1 -- Kim Jong-un expresses willingness to resume a suspended tour program to Mount Kumgang.

Feb. 27-28 -- Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump hold their second summit in Hanoi. The summit ends without a deal.

April 25 -- Kim Jong-un visits Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok and holds a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

June 20 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping visits North Korea

June 30 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Kim Jong-un, and U.S. President Donald Trump meet at Panmunjom.

Oct. 23 -- Kim Jong-un orders the removal of all facilities built by the South at Mount Kumgang.


May 3 -- The two Koreas exchange fire after the North fired gunshots at a South Korean border guard post.

June 9 -- North Korea severs inter-Korean communication lines after criticizing anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets flown into the North by South Korea-based activists.

June 16 -- North Korea blows up the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Kaesong.

Sept. 22 -- North Korean soldiers shoot a South Korean fisheries official who went missing while on duty aboard an inspection boat off the South's western border island of Yeonpyeong.

Oct. 10 -- North Korea holds a military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the WPK and unveils a new ICBM presumed to be Hwasong-17.


Jan. 5-12 -- During the eighth WPK congress, Kim Jong-un is elected general secretary. He puts forward a new five-year economic development plan and proclaims his country's push to develop a nuclear-powered submarine and other high-tech equipment.

July 27 -- The two Koreas announce the restoration of cross-border communication lines as part of efforts to improve inter-Korean relations.

Aug. 10 -- Kim Yo-jong berates South Korea and the United States for holding a joint military exercise. North Korea again severs inter-Korean communication lines.

Sept. 28 -- North Korea test-fires the hypersonic Hwasong-8 missile.

Sept. 21 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposes declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War during a U.N. General Assembly session, calling it a gateway to achieve lasting peace on the peninsula.

Oct. 4 -- Inter-Korean communication lines are restored.

Oct. 11 -- Kim Jong-un says the country's enemy is "war itself" at a defense exhibition called Self-Defense 2021 in Pyongyang.

Oct. 28 -- South Korea's National Intelligence Service confirms the use of the term "Kimjongunism" in North Korea.



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