Stories From Kim Jong Un’s Youth Offer Insight Into Dictator’s ‘Wild Temper’

REUTERS/KRT via Reuters TV

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
Font Size:

Young Kim Jong-un has been described as a hot head with a “wild temper” and now he is a dictator with a growing arsenal of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

North Korea tested a possible thermonuclear weapon over the weekend, escalating the military threat. “The latest development is largely attributable to Kim’s wild character. If Kim is not eliminated, this issue will persist,” explained Nam Sung-wook, a Korea University professor and the former head the Institute for National Security Strategy under the National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s espionage agency.

“Half of the reason behind the current crisis is because of Kim Jong-un’s explosive temper,” he told lawmakers.

Nam recalled an incident in which 15-year-old Kim’s girlfriend at the time attempted to convince him to quit smoking, a habit he picked up from his father.

“As Kim was smoking at a young age, his girlfriend advised him to quit smoking,” Nam said, “Then, Kim exploded with foul language, which was quite shocking.” Others have told stories of Kim lashing out at servants, despite being a generally quiet person. His temper was visible even at a young age.

“Even then, I thought that he had extremely rough manners and characteristics — that he was definitely going to complicate things when he came to power,” he explained, adding, “I had hoped my predictions wouldn’t become true, but it is unfortunately taking shape.”

A few years ago, the U.S. government interviewed Kim’s former classmates, people who knew him in his formative years. “The general recounting of those experiences led us to believe that he was dangerous, unpredictable, prone to violence and with delusions of grandeur,” former U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell revealed at the time.

Kim “might be considered the world’s most dangerous man,” AND Corporation Senior Defense Analyst Bruce Bennett told CNN reporters last December.

Nukes, missiles, chemical and biological weapons aside, Kim has also exercised extreme brutality in his country. After taking power, Kim purged numerous officials and their families.

“The regime killed hundreds of people, including officials, their friends, their families, and even children with heavy machine guns,” former North Korean official Ri Jong Ho, who Kim’s reign of terror firsthand, told reporters in June.

Kim had his uncle murdered, and there is strong evidence linking North Korea to the death of Kim’s half brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia earlier this year.

While the young North Korean dictator may be a ruthless tyrant, he is also a strategically clever. He has risen to the top despite being the youngest child of his father Kim Jong Il, and he has developed weapons of mass destruction despite extreme international pressure. Under his watch, the North Korean nuclear threat has become much more pressing.

Follow Ryan on Twitter

Send tips to

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact