Kim Jong-un’s mother Ko Yong-hui spoiled him and made him believe he was a demigod as he grew up.
Ko Yong-hui’s early life:
She was called ‘the Respected Mother who is the Most Faithful and Loyal Subject to the Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander’. She is also known by titles such as ‘The Mother of Pyongyang’ and ‘The Mother of Great Songun Korea’.
Ko was born to a Korean father and an ethnic Japanese mother. Her father worked as a laborer in Osaka at a sewing company that produced gear for the Imperial Japanese Army. Ko was born in the year 1952.
She moved with her family to North Korea sometime in May 1961 or 1962 during a repatriation program. During the 1970s, she began working as a dancer for the Mansudae Art Troupe in Pyongyang. It is believed that Ko met Kim Jong-il in 1972 and gave birth to Kim Jong-un in 1983 or 1984.
Four years later, she gave birth to daughter Kim Yo-jong who could be stepping to take over her brother’s role should he pass away.
When Kim Jong-un began to appear in North Korean politics, Ko’s legacy also made a surprising appearance in 2008.
In order to support Kim’s position, she was referred to as ‘the great mother’ or ‘the mother of Songun Korea’. However, these attempts to glorify her did not work or last and they disappeared as quickly as they had started.
Given North Korea’s songbun status system, Ko’s mixed Korean-Japanese heritage put her in the lowest ‘hostile’ class. Due to her father’s work as a laborer, she had the “lowest imaginable status qualities,” Peoplepill reports.
Before an internal propaganda film released after the ascension of Kim Jong-un, there were three attempts to idolize Ko. These did not work out and were stopped after Kim Jong-il’s 2008 stroke.
While the ‘songbun’ is passed down to her by her father, it would not have sat well with Kim Jong-il’s pure bloodline dynasty. Making her identity public would undermine the bloodline and so after Kim Jong-il’s death, her personal information, including her name, became state secrets.
Relationship with her son:
When Kim Jong-un was a child he was raised to believe that he was a ‘demigod’. He would often wear a mini military uniform and order adults around, insiders shared. It is also believed that his parents had staff attending to his every need.
They also had cages with monkeys and bears for his entertainment in his garden, Mirror claims. According to a journalist Anna Fifield who chronicled his childhood and life as a teenager, he was close to his mother who made him believe that he was a military genius.
He also shared her love for basketball. “Her influence was seen everywhere from the cartoons of her that suddenly started appearing on TV to the way her sons were promoted and moved up the ranks,” Fifield revealed.
Her death is rather mysterious but many experts tracking the dynasty said that Ko died in Paris due to cancer in 2004. She unfortunately did not get see her son’s rise to power.