SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is thought to have turned 40 on Monday (Jan 8), but state media continued its decades of silence on his birthday.
Kim’s birthday is thought to be Jan 8, though his secretive regime has never confirmed the date. The US government lists Kim’s birth year as 1984, putting him 40 years old this year.
The birth dates of Kim’s father and grandpa, who preceded him as rulers, are national holidays in the authoritarian state.
Kim Jong Un’s supposed birth date, meanwhile, has always passed quietly without mention in media or on the country’s calendars.
The closest North Korea has come to confirming the date came in January 2020 after authorities acknowledged Kim had received birthday greetings from then-US President Donald Trump, though they did not name the exact date.
This year, state news agency KCNA on Monday showed Kim visiting a chicken farm with his daughter and top officials.
South Korea’s intelligence agency said this month it thinks the daughter, known as Ju-ae, may be a likely successor.
Kim’s government is heavily sanctioned over the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile projects, as well as human rights abuses.