Who Is Kim Jong Un's Uncle, Kim Pyong Il — And Will He Be The Next Leader Of North Korea?

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Who Is Kim Jong Un's Uncle, Kim Pyong Il — And Will He Be The Next Leader Of North Korea?
Entertainment And News

As of this writing, no one in the Western media can confirm with 100% certainty, what happened or wher Kim Jong Un currently is and whether or not he is alive. Some reports suggest that the North Korean dictator is still alive, but in a vegetative state. Some reports suggest he died. And still others suggest that he's perfectly alive and well, and just hiding out from the possibility of getting Coronavirus. 

Whatever the reality of the situation is with Kim Jong Un, though — which we may never know — there will come a time when he will no longer be the leader of North Korea ... and someone has to take his place. 

And while his sister, Kim Yo-Jong, is being bandied about as his possible successor should he, in fact, be dead, another name is also coming up as a possibility to take his place in the event of his demise. 

Who is Kim Pyong Il, Kim Jong Un's uncle? 

RELATED: Is The Kim Jong Un Death Photo Real?​

Let's look at what we know about this mysterious man. 

He's Kim Jong Il's half brother. 

Kim Pyong Il is the half brother of Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un. He is the product of his father, Kim Il Sung's, relationship with his former secretary, Kim Song Ae. He has one younger brother, Kim Yong Il. 

Kim Pyong Il is the only surviving son of the first North Korean leader. 

Kim Il Sung was the first leader of North Korea. And, as of this writing, Kim Pyong Il is the only surviving son of this man, making him the only one eligible for the leadership if the country continues its dynastic rule. 

He's been a diplomat for most of his career. 

Since 1979, Kim Pyong Il has been in service to North Korea as a diplomat. His first assignment was for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (which is today known as the countries of Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo). He has also served as a diplomat for North Korea to Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

RELATED: How Did Kim Jong Un Die? Media Reports North Korean Dictator Dead Following Botched Heart Surgery​

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Kim Pyong Il was considered a "threat" to North Korea for a time. 

For most of his career, Kim Pyong Il was considered a "threat" to North Korea because he looked so much like his father, Kim Il Sung. There is also some suggestion that he was considered a "threat" because he could successfully challenge Kim Jong Un's reign at any time. 

He became a resident of North Korea for the first time in 40 years in 2019. 

During his time as a diplomat, Kim Pyong Il lived outside of North Korea. However, when he retired in 2019, he became a resident of North Korea for the first time in 40 years. You can see his return to North Korea in the video above.

Will he take over if Kim Jong Un dies?

As of this writing, it's unclear when — or even if — he will take over if Kim Jong Un dies. While there has been some suggestion that he will rule North Korea alongside his niece, Kim Yo-Jong, if Kim Jong Un isn't alive, there are no Western media that can, at this point, confirm for certain that Kim Jong Un is even dead. We will keep you posted on any developments, however.

RELATED: Did Kim Jong Un Die From Coronavirus?​

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.