1942 – He was born on the 16th day of February this year in village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles.
1945 – He was only three when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan. His father returned to Pyongyang that September, and in late November, Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong.
1964 – He most likely received most of his education in the People’s Republic of China, where he was sent away from his father for safety during the Korean War. According to the official biography, Kim graduated from Namsan School in Pyongyang, a special school for the children of Worker’s Party officials. He later attended Kim Il-sung University and majored in Political Economy, graduating in this year.
1974 – He married his first wife, Kim Young-suk, after being forced by his father to marry the daughter of a senior military official – the two have been estranged for some years. Kim has a daughter from this marriage, Kim Sul-song born in this year.
1994 – He became Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army in this year.
1997 – He was the General Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea.
1998 – His Defense Commission position was declared “the highest post of the state", so Kim may be regarded as North Korea’s head of state from that date. Since Kim is not the president, he is not constitutionally required to hold elections to confirm his legitimacy and has not done so.
2002 – His government admitted to having produced nuclear weapons since the 1994 agreement. Kim’s regime argued the secret production was necessary for security purposes – citing the presence of United States owned nuclear weapons in South Korea and the new tensions with the U.S. under President George W Bush.
2011 – Kim Jong Il died and was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-un.