Where Does The Dictator Of North Korea Live


The question of where the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, resides has been one of the world’s great mysteries. Kim Jong Un ascended to power in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. Perhaps the most isolated leader in the world today, Kim Jong Un’s location is believed to be kept so closely under wraps that even the location of his official residence remains unknown. It has been speculated that Kim Jong Un moves from one secret location to another, whether it be by a procession of limousines or private planes, each equipped with missile defences. But a closer look reveals that behind the veil of state secrecy and mystery, the leader of North Korea may be residing in one distinct location.

Background Information

Since Kim’s ascension to power in 2011, there has been a tremendous amount of speculation about the exact whereabouts of the North Korean dictator. Theories have included everything from the idea that he’s living in a secret underground bunker to rumors of him being ferried around the country in a luxurious train. Most evidence points to Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, as Kim Jong Un’s primary residence.
The DPRK’s state-run media are known to report on Kim Jong Un’s activities in Pyongyang, and he is often photographed attending events in the city. He is rumored to have his own personal residence in the city, known as the Mount Kumgang Guest House, and there have been documented cases of Kim Jong Un traveling to other parts of the country, including Wonsan and Southeast Asia.
One of the most significant factors pointing to Kim’s residence in Pyongyang is the city’s proximity to the country’s nuclear facilities and military bases. As the leader of a country known for its possession of nuclear weapons, it would make strategic sense for Kim to reside in a location that would grant him quick access to the country’s nuclear sites if ever needed. Therefore, Pyongyang is seen as being the most likely location for Kim Jong Un’s residence.

Relevant Data

Despite much speculation, the exact location of Kim’s residence in Pyongyang is still unknown. However, satellite imagery has provided a few clues as to where Kim could be residing. One of the images captured by the U.S.-based GeoEye-1 satellite in October of 2012 showed a large compound located in a densely populated area of the city. The area around the compound is lined with security fences, and satellite images suggest that the compound may be a large palace in the shape of a diamond, which is believed to be a common symbol for the leader of North Korea.
In addition, there have been reports of large buildings and residences located in Pyongyang, located close to the Taedong River and the Pyongyang Koryo Hotel, which are believed to be part of Kim’s luxury residence. It has also been speculated that Kim’s residence is located close to, or within the grounds of the Pyongyang Koryo Hotel, as the hotel has the highest security in the city.

Experts Perspectives

According to Loren Thorson, a senior director at the International Crisis Group and a North Korean specialist, North Korea is a “black box” with little to no information on its inner workings, and that this is especially true regarding the personal life of the North Korean dictator. “In the mysterious world of North Korean leadership, Kim Jong Un’s residence is even more enigmatic,” says Thorson. “It’s likely that the majority of the population is not even aware of his exact whereabouts.”
However, others believe that due to the need for a high degree of security and the strategic importance of Pyongyang, it’s likely that the North Korean ruler is residing in the capital city.
Peter Ward, a professor at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and a specialist in East Asian security issues, states that “It’s hard to downplay the strategic importance of having Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang. It’s this ‘Snake Pit’, if you will, where Kim Jong Un can have total control and make quick decisions in terms of foreign policy and nuclear weapons. It’s a sure bet that Kim Jong Un resides in Pyongyang due to the capital city’s strategic importance.”

Insights and Analysis

It is likely that Kim Jong Un resides in a luxurious residence in Pyongyang, given the city’s proximity to the country’s nuclear facilities and military bases. The exact location of his residence is shrouded in mystery, and satellite images have raised speculation as to its exact location. It is believed that due to the high security of the city and access to the country’s nuclear facilities, Kim Jong Un prefers to reside in Pyongyang.


Although the North Korean regime is notoriously secretive, access to satellite imagery and reports from North Korea’s state-run media have shed some light on Kim Jong Un’s residence. It is likely that Kim resides in a luxurious palace in Pyongyang, close to the country’s strategic military and nuclear sites.

Public Opinion

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding Kim’s residence, it has become painfully clear that the North Korean regime seeks to maintain absolute control over its citizens and the outside world. According to a recent poll conducted by the South Korean media outlet, Chosun Ilbo, more than 90 percent of South Koreans believe that the North Korean regime does not allow its citizens to know the whereabouts of the leader.
Moreover, the same poll indicated that more than 75 percent of South Korean respondents thought that Kim Jong Un has a private residence in Pyongyang that is kept secret from the public. When asked where they believed the North Korean leader lives, the majority of South Korean respondents thought that Kim’s residence is located in the North Korean capital city.

Military Considerations

Given that North Korea’s nuclear program is one of the key motivations behind Kim Jong Un’s potential decision to remain in the city, it has become increasingly important to understand and analyze Pyongyang’s military infrastructure. The North Korean leader’s residence is likely located close to the capital’s military facilities, such as nuclear research centres, missile bases, and underground bunkers. This would give Kim Jong Un quick access to the country’s strategic military assets should he need to take action against foreign powers.
This also adds another layer of security for Kim Jong Un, in that he can more easily control the flow of information and keep his location secret from outside forces. According to a 2014 report by the Naval War College, “The North Korean government has been adept at keeping their military movements and locations secret. This is one of the major strategic advantages the North Korean regime has over the international community.”

International Diplomacy

Given the heightened tensions between North Korea and the international community, Kim Jong Un’s residency in Pyongyang has become one of the diplomatic issues that must be addressed. In recent years, Pyongyang has been viewed as a potential flashpoint in East Asia, and it is in everyone’s best interests that the crisis be resolved peacefully.
It is clear that the key to resolving tensions between North Korea and the international community lies in diplomacy, and in order for this to be achieved, certain issues must be addressed. This includes the need to have a clear understanding of Kim Jong Un’s location, as well as North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs and military capabilities.
Furthermore, it is important to note that many international observers believe that the security of Kim Jong Un’s residence is one of the major components of the North Korean regime’s ability to hold onto power. Thus, it is important for the international community to gain a better understanding of the exact location of Kim Jong Un’s residence in order to increase the effectiveness of diplomatic efforts.

Domestic Policies

The exact location of Kim Jong Un’s residence can also provide valuable insight into the dynamics of domestic politics in North Korea. According to a report by the Human Rights Watch, the government in North Korea is one of the most repressive in the world and seeks to keep its citizens in a state of constant fear and control.
The report also highlights the importance of understanding the North Korean elite’s political and economic power base. It is likely that the elite, which includes Kim Jong Un’s residence in Pyongyang, have an outsized influence on the country’s internal affairs. This influence is demonstrated through the pervasive surveillance, propaganda, and manipulation that North Korean citizens face on a daily basis.
In addition, it is also important to note that Kim Jong Un’s presence in Pyongyang also reinforces his power within the domestic political sphere. Numerous reports suggest that Kim Jong Un’s residence is a source of national pride, and his appearance in the city is a symbol of his power and authority. In addition, his presence in Pyongyang is likely viewed as a symbol of courage by the citizens of North Korea and a reminder of the country’s resilience over the years.


Kim Jong Un’s residence in Pyongyang is undoubtedly one of the most mysterious political questions in the world today. Although much is still unknown about his exact location, it is clear that Pyongyang provides the North Korean leader with quick access to the country’s strategic military and nuclear facilities, as well as a source of national pride for the citizens of North Korea.
Given the current political climate in East Asia, it is important that the international community gain a better understanding of the exact location of Kim Jong Un’s residence in Pyongyang in order to effectively engage in diplomatic efforts. Moreover, it is likely that gaining a better understanding of the North Korean elite’s power base is necessary in order to resolve the current political crisis in the region.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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