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January 21, 2024

In the 1990s, Kim Jong Un and His Father Used Fake Brazilian Passports to Apply for Visas to Western Countries

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his late father Kim Jong Il used fraudulently obtained Brazilian passports to apply for visas to visit Western countries in the 1990s, five senior Western European security sources have told Reuters.

The news agency published a photocopy of two Brazilian passports reportedly used by Kim Jong Un and his father, Kim Jong Il, issued by the Brazilian embassy in Prague in 1996. Itamaraty, Brazil’s foreign ministry, said it was investigating the case. The justice ministry declined a request for comment. Calls to the North Korean embassy in Brasilia went unanswered.

According to the documents in the Reuters story, Kim Jong Un traveled under the alias of Josef Pwag, and Kim Jong Il apparently used the name Ijong Tchoi. Before the introduction of digital security measures, Brazilian passports were popular on the global black market due to the Latin American country’s ethnic diversity and political neutrality.

It was unclear whether any visas were issued. The passports may also have been used to travel to Brazil, Japan and Hong Kong, the security sources said. Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported in 2011 that Kim Jong Un visited Tokyo as a child using a Brazilian passport in 1991, before the issue date on the two Brazilian passports.

Both 10-year passports carry a stamp saying “Embassy of Brazil in Prague” with a February 26, 1996, issue date. The security sources said facial recognition technology confirmed the photographs were those of Kim Jong Un and his father.

The passport with Kim Jong Un’s photo was issued in the name of Josef Pwag with a date of birth of February 1, 1983. So little is known about Kim Jong-un that even his birth date is disputed. He would have been 12 to 14 years old when the Brazilian passport was issued. Kim Jong Un is known to have been educated at an international school in Berne, Switzerland, where he pretended to be the son of an embassy chauffeur.

Kim Jong Il’s passport was issued in the name Ijong Tchoi with a birth date of April 4, 1940. Jong Il died in 2011 and his true birth date was in 1941.

Both passports list the holders’ birthplaces as Sao Paulo, Brazil. Reuters has only seen photocopies of the passports so was unable to discern if they had been tampered with.


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