Kim Man-il

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Kim Man-il
Alexander Irsenovich Kim

c. 1944
Died1947–1948 (aged 3–4)
Pyongyang, Soviet Korea (North Korean sources)
Vyatskoye, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (Soviet records)
Cause of deathDrowning
Parent(s)Kim Il-sung
Kim Jong-suk

Kim Man-il (Hangul김만일; Hanja金萬一; 1944–1947/8) was the second son and child of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and his first wife, Kim Jong-suk.


Soviet records show that he was born Alexander Irsenovich Kim (Russian: Александр Ирсенович Ким) in 1944 in the Russian village of Vyatskoye. Inside his family, he was nicknamed Shura. Official North Korean biographies state that Shura and his older brother Kim Jong-il got along very well and played together.[1]

Kim Man-il's death is shrouded in mystery. North Korean sources claim that in the summer of 1947 or 1948, Shura and his brother were playing in a pond in the city of Pyongyang, when Shura accidentally drowned.[2] However, Russian sources indicate that he fell in a well in Vyatskoye and drowned, prior to the family moving back to Korea.[3] Official records state that Kim Jong-il was devastated and could never get over the trauma of losing his younger brother. Kim Man-il's alleged grave is located in Vyatskoye.[4] In 1949, his mother, Kim Jong-suk died while giving birth to a stillborn girl.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Both Jerrold Post in Post, Jerrold M. (2008). "Kim Jong-Il of North Korea: In the shadow of his father". International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. 5 (3): 191–210. and Robert Davison who publishes The Inquisitor cite North Korean defector Yi Ki-bong (이기봉, 李基奉) for statements that shed some doubt on this. Davison quotes from Yi's book, What Kind of Man is Kim Jong II [sic: Kim, Chŏng-il] (most likely Yi's chapter in 민족사 입장 에서 본 김 일성 정권): “Kim was very mischievous when a child. When he saw an insect, he trampled on it. After Korea’s liberation from Japanese occupation, the Kim II-sung family lived in a house in Mansu-tong, Central District, P’yongyang. In the early summer of 1948, his younger brother, Shura (then three years old) drowned. Kim Jong II was there at the time. I learned later how the accident occurred. The two brothers were playing in the pond right by the edge. Kim Jong II raised his face faster than his brother, and pushed his brother’s face back into water. He did that over and over.” Davison, Robert (26 August 2009). "Despot of the Week #5 – Kim Jong II". Archived from the original on 30 August 2009.
  2. ^ None of the sources appear to be entirely authoritative, and many show a bias towards or opposed to the Kim regime. "Kim Family". North Korea Leadership Watch. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. gives a date of July 1947. Sources such as Behnke, Alison (2008). Kim Jong Il's North Korea (first ed.). Minneapolis, Minnesota: Twenty-First Century Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-8225-7282-4. give a generic 1947. While sources like North Korea: General Secretary Kim Jong-il Handbook. Washington, D.C.: International Business Publications. 2002. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-7397-6344-5. give a generic 1948.
  3. ^ Chung Byoung-sun (22 August 2002). "Sergeyevna Remembers Kim Jong Il". Chosunilbo. Archived from the original on 24 November 2002.
  4. ^