North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump will meet today – but will they be communicating in English?
When it comes to North Korea’s Supreme Leader very little is known – and a lot of the information available is subject to much debate.
Kim Jong-un has been the Supreme Leader of the secretive state since 2011, taking over from his father Kim Jong-il.
He is considered one of the world’s most repressive and bombastic rulers, and has overseen several nuclear and missile tests.
But despite his high-profile career and power status, there is still relatively little known about him.
How old is Kim Jong-un?
Even Kim’s age is the subject of much debate.
Kim’s official birth date, according to North Korean Authorities, is January 8, 1982.
This would mean he just turned 37.
However, various reports suggest this year has been changed for symbolic reasons.
The year of 1982 is 70 years after the birth of Kim Il-sung, and 40 years after the birth of Kim Jong-il.
Meanwhile, South Korean intelligence officials believe he was born a year later, on January 8, 1983 – making him 36 years old.
“1984 was the year Kim was actually born. We know that through multiple human sources, including his aunt, Ko Yong Suk”
Michael Madden – North Korea expert
To confuse matters even further, the US Treasury Department lists the tyrant’s official birthdate as January 8, 1984.
This date was reiterated by former Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman, who met the dictator in North Korea in 2013.
This would make Kim 35 years old, which has been confirmed by various North Korea experts.
Michael Madden, North Korea expert at Johns Hopkins University’s 38 North website, said: “1984 was the year Kim was actually born. We know that through multiple human sources, including his aunt, Ko Yong Suk.”
Madden continued telling Newsweek: “The 1982 date is a propaganda date based on rumours that would basically tie Kim to his father and grandfather. There’s serious Confucian, Asian symbolism attached to it.”
Is Kim Jong-un married?
Kim Jong-un is married to Ri Sol-ju, who has been referred to in state media as the “respected first lady”.
The 29-year-old girl from Chongjin has been seen with the tyrant in public before.
Not much is known about her, but she is believed to come from an elite family, and graduated from Kim II Sung University.
She is believed to be the granddaughter or grandniece of Ri Pyong Chol, former head of the Korean People’s Army and Air and Anti-Air Force.
North Korea’s state media officially identified Ri as his wife in 2012, however, South Korean intelligence believe they tied the knot in 2009.
Before this she was seen as a “mystery woman” who could be seen at official events.
They are believed to have three children together, but this has never been confirmed by North Korea.
Does Kim Jong-un speak English?
According to a report from United Press International (UPI), some experts in South Korea believe he could be fluent in English, due to his Western education.
However, UPI didn’t determine to what degree of fluency he may have.
Kim went to high school in Switzerland, and attended at least two different exclusive private boarding schools.
L’Hebdo also reported he studied English while in Switzerland, as well as Germ and and French.
However, according to the Telegraph in 2012, Kim’s grades were so bad he only passed English with the minimum.
Will Kim Jong un be able to understand Donald Trump?
Most likely, even with half-decent English, he will be able to communicate with Trump.
After all, when Kim met Rodman in 2013, the Washington Post wrote Chinese state media said they “talked directly to each other and laughed”.
However, on the flip side, a Sky News report from 2014 said the pair had communicated through interpreters, so there doesn’t seem to be greenest on Kim’s level of English.
Yang Moo Jin, professor at the University of North Korea Studies, said about the previous meeting with Trump: “If Kim shows a strong command of English during the U.S.-North Korea summit, Trump is likely to be surprised.
“Conversing in his counterpart’s language could help smoothen the atmosphere for negotiations.”
How much is Kim Jong-un worth?
One of the things Kim doesn’t appear to keep under wraps is his massive spending habit.
Kim’s net worth is an estimated $5billion (£3.8billion), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
This figure was made after a joint South Korean and American investigation for at least $5billion worth of assets and bank accounts controlled by Kim and his family.
The money was spread in more than 200 foreign bank accounts located throughout the world.
However, figures based on statistics from the UN and spending reports estimate his net worth in 2018 is worth between $7-8 billion (£5-8billion).