As reports emerge of Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, everyone is frantic about what is happening in the hermit kingdom. According to The Globe and the Mail However, rumors about Kim’s health began to emerge after the supreme leader “was unable to make a public appearance on a key state holiday on April 15, and has since remained outside of sight ».
According to the media outlet, the South Korean media reported that Kim was undergoing cardiovascular surgery or was isolating herself to avoid the coronavirus. Then there were reports that he really died. However, Moon Chung-in, one of the top foreign policy advisers to South Korean President Moon, said: CNN : “Our position in government is firm. Kim Jong-un is alive and well. He has been in the Wonsan area since April 13. So far no suspicious movements have been detected. ”
So with this unusual turn of events, the media around the world has renewed interest and curiosity in both North Korea and Kim Jong Un himsel. We have many questions about the supreme leader and one of them has to do with money. We are curious as to what Kim Jong Un’s net worth really is. The answer: a lot. But his means of making such a fortune are dark and sinister. Curious? Keep reading.
The hypocrisy of Kim Jong Un’s luxurious taste
Kim Jong Un, on paper at least, has absolute control over the lives of the 25 million people living in his country, according to Forbes . With full control, Kim has no one to control him, which is a dangerous and totally hypocritical combination of luxurious taste and total domination. As CNN States, despite international sanctions from North Korea, Kim arrives for public events in a black Mercedes Benz.
CNN also reports that in 2017, Kim had a recent shopping list that included “a brilliant white yacht, expensive liquor, and even the equipment necessary to equip a luxury ski resort.” Adding to this general idea, CNN also stated that in 2015, North Korea spent more on luxury goods “than on combined licit imports from the rest of the world.”
To put all of this in context and emphasize the hypocrisy of the situation, in 2016, Kim warned his citizens to prepare for possible famines and economic hardship, according to CNN . Against this tragic backdrop, let’s see how North Korea earns the money to pay for these things.
North Korea’s illicit means of making money
North Korea has several different ways of generating income. According to CNN , the hermit kingdom has used many strategies to fill its coffers, including: hacking banks, selling weapons, selling drugs, counterfeiting cash, and trafficking endangered species.
These money-making schemes are not only to finance Kim Jong Un’s lavish lifestyle, but also to pay the military and “the country’s nuclear and missile programs” on CNN .
However, these illegal activities bring a lot of money. In a 2008 Congressional Research Service report, Pyongyang was estimated to generate between $ 500 and $ 1 billion in profits annually. This report became very specific, claiming that North Korea’s criminal activity included the production and trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine, counterfeit cigarettes, and counterfeit pharmaceuticals, including Viagra.
According to CNN Anthony Ruggiero, former deputy director of the United States Treasury Department, said: “North Korea will sell anything to anyone as long as they pay.”
So how much is Kim Jong Un worth?
While tracing the routes and means of income used by North Korea is absolutely tragic, it is surprising to discover what Kim Jong Un is worth. According to Celebrity Net Worth , the dictator is worth $ 5 billion. This figure was obtained in 2013, when a South Korean and American investigation totaled more than 200 bank accounts controlled by Kim and his family. Bank accounts were found worldwide, from countries such as: Austria, Lichtenstein, Russia, Singapore, China, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
These reports also found that Kim owned more than 20 palatial mansions and spent most of his time on an island off the coast of North Korea, according to Celebrity Net Worth .
With such a penchant for luxury, it’s not entirely surprising to hear that Kim Jong Un’s potential health issues include lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity, according to a recent CNN article.
So while Kim Jong Un is incredibly wealthy, his means of achieving that wealth are sinister, and his country only enjoys this luxury indirectly through its supreme leader.