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Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, born 16 February 1941 (Soviet records) or 16 February 1942 (North Korean records), is the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). He is the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, the ruling party since 1948, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, the fourth largest standing army in the world. In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended and now implicitly refers to him as the "Supreme Leader". He is also referred to as the "Dear Leader", "our Father", "the General" and "Generalissimo". His son Kim Jong-un was promoted to a senior position in the ruling Worker's Party and is heir apparent.

Soviet records show that Kim Jong-il was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941, where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles. Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife.

Kim Jong-il's official biography states that he was born in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain in Japanese Korea on 16 February 1942. Official biographers claim that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow, and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star in the heavens.

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