How Old is Kim Jong-un? Mystery Behind North Korean Leader's Age

© REUTERS / KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches landing and anti-landing exercises being carried out by the Korean People's Army (KPA) at an unknown location, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 20, 2016
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches landing and anti-landing exercises being carried out by the Korean People's Army (KPA) at an unknown location, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 20, 2016 - Sputnik International
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hides his real age and secretly celebrates his birthday, the agency Yonhap reported on Sunday, referring to North Korean diplomat Thae Yong Ho.

North Koreans gather during a mass rally to vow to carry through the tasks set forth by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his New Year's address, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The reason why the North Korean leader conceals the exact year of his birth from the public is to control senior officials who might doubt his authority when they learn his real age, the diplomat said.

Thus, Kim Jong-un's birthday is not officially celebrated, although everyone knows that the date is on January 8. This year, Kim Jong-un is assumed to have turned 33, 34, or 35, according to various reports.

"If Kim's exact age is made public, he might have problems in dealing with officials who are 30 to 40 years older than him," Thae Yong Ho told the newspaper. "Kim is the absolute power in the North, so there should not be such things as officials raising [doubts about] his power because of his age."

Since taking office in late 2011, Kim Jong-un has had absolute authority in the country and executed over 100 military and government officials who dared to criticize him.

The current North Korean leader has an elder brother named Jong-chol, but the later doesn't have any special status in the government.

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