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How North Korean leader Kim Jong Un became one of the world's most feared dictators

Business Insider Logo By Ellen Cranley of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 30: 
  North Korean leader Kim Jong
  Un is regarded as one of the world's most repressive and
  bombastic rulers.
  
  After a year of ushering in historic international peace
  agreements and much discussion over North Korea's nuclear
  arsenal, Kim's rule continues to cause concern on the world
  stage.
  
  Despite his high-profile career, there is still relatively
  little known of the reclusive 35-year-old.
  
  Here is the story of how he became one of the world's
  scariest dictators.
  
  
    Visit
    BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
  

  Kim Jong Un assumed leadership at such a young age that many
  thought his rule would be doomed.

  The current head of the family dynasty that's ruled North Korea
  since the 1950s has overseen several nuclear
  tests, dozens of missile tests, and presided over his
  country's shocking, uninvited entrance into the nuclear club. 

  After having the most tense, heated exchanges with a US commander
  in chief in his country's history, Kim met with President Donald
  Trump twice.

  Between threats of nuclear annihilation, brinkmanship, and
  attacks on South Korea, Kim has kept a firm grip on power
  throughout, and his people have very few freedoms.

  With all this attention, still relatively little is known of Kim.
  But thanks to a new book from Washington Post Beijing bureau
  chief Anna Fifield, "The Great Successor," we now
  know more about his secretive childhood.

  Here's what we know of how Kim grew to be one of the world's
  scariest dictators.

  
    Paul Szoldra,
    Jeremy
  Bender, Gus Lubin,
  and Veronika Bondarenko
  contributed to
  previous versions of this story.

Kim Jong Un assumed leadership at such a young age that many thought his rule would be doomed.

The current head of the family dynasty that's ruled North Korea since the 1950s has overseen several nuclear tests, dozens of missile tests, and presided over his country's shocking, uninvited entrance into the nuclear club.

After having the most tense, heated exchanges with a US commander in chief in his country's history, Kim met with President Donald Trump twice.

Between threats of nuclear annihilation, brinkmanship, and attacks on South Korea, Kim has kept a firm grip on power throughout, and his people have very few freedoms.

With all this attention, still relatively little is known of Kim. But thanks to a new book from Washington Post Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield, "The Great Successor," we now know more about his secretive childhood.

Here's what we know of how Kim grew to be one of the world's scariest dictators.

Paul Szoldra, Jeremy Bender, Gus Lubin, and Veronika Bondarenko contributed to previous versions of this story.

© Reuters/KCNA KCNA

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