KIM Jong-un and North Korea's unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons in recent years has heightened global tensions and escalated the risk of military conflict with the US.
But very little is known about the man behind the missiles, who was schooled in Switzerland and has reportedly fathered three children with his wife. Here is what we do know about the elusive dictator and his family.
Kim is the second child of his predecessor as Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-il and his wife Kim Yong-hui.
North Korean authorities have stated that his birth date is January 8, 1982, but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later.
Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman, who is a friend of the dictator, said he was born on January 8, 1983.
But records at the Swiss school he attended say he was born on July 5, 1984 putting him anywhere between 33 and 35 years of age.
Kim attended an English language school near Bern before later going to the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in Koniz using the name "Pak Un."
And it was during his time in Europe where he is said to have developed his passions for cheese and basketball.
His old mates at the German-speaking Liebefeld-Steinhölzli public school say Kim was a "funny, popular boy."
“He was a good friend,” Bern chef Joao Micaelo, who attended Liebefeld-Steinhölzli with Kim for two years, told the Daily Beast.
“We had a lot of fun together. He was a good guy. Lots of kids liked him. I don’t know anything about his life today. All I know is the guy I knew in school.
“He loved basketball. We played a lot together. I’d like to say to him, if you ever have the time, please contact me again so we can catch up.”
Like everybody else at the school, Mr Micaelo was introduced to Kim as “Pak Un” and told he was the son of North Korean embassy official.
He said one day Kim told him who he really was, but he dismissed the story as fantasy.
Another childhood friend, Marco Imhof, remembered Kim as competitive but good-natured.
The strongman leader allegedly has access to a £5million superyacht, a fleet of bulletproof Mercedes limousines and a ski resort for him and his cronies.
North Korea has been accused of funding Kim’s extravagant lifestyle through illegal operations including hacking banks, selling weapons, dealing drugs and trafficking endangered species, news.com.au reported.
Aerial pictures have revealed a party island– dubbed 'North Korea’s Ibiza' – where the dictator entertains his cronies.
The sprawling resort comprises of luxury villas dotted around Kim’s giant private palace on a wooded estate on the east coast of the hermit nation.
Poverty is rife in North Korea after years of sanctions and economic mismanagement.
In May the UN World Food Program reported that 4.4 million North Koreans – 17 percent of the population – are in a state of “crisis, emergency, and famine” and 5.6 million live in a “stressed” situation when it comes to food.
This brings the entirety of the North Korea population living in food insecurity to 10 million.
North Korea is the only country in all of East Asia with food insecurity, the report adds.
Kim Jong-un has two full siblings, an older brother named Kim Jong-chul and a younger sister named Kim Yo-jong.
He had an elder half-brother named Kim Jong-nam who was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur Airport after being attacked by two women.
On July 25, 2012, North Korean state media reported for the first time that Kim Jong-un was married to Ri Sol-ju.
Despot Kim has fathered three children with his wife – who is believed to have once visited South Korea as part of a cheerleading squad.
According to previous intelligence reports, Ri married the dictator in 2009 and gave birth to their first child the following year, with their second born in 2013.
Former NBA star Rodman, following his trip to the hermit kingdom in 2013, has been the only source of information about the couple's second child – a baby girl named Kim Ju-ae.
Saying that he had held Kim's daughter in his arms, Rodman described the North Korean leader as "a good dad" who has "a good family".
South Korean intelligence reports have described Ri as coming from an ordinary family, with her father an academic and her mother a doctor.
First Lady Ri reportedly had the couple’s third child in February 2017 after vanishing from public view throughout most of her pregnancy.
His half brother had been favourite to succeed Kim Jong-il before he fell out of favour after a failed attempt to visit Tokyo Disneyland on a fake passport.
Kim Jong-il died on December 17, 2011, and it had been initially rumoured his brother in law Jang Song-thaek would act as regent as Kim Jong-un was too young.
Kim Jong-un was formally announced as his father's successor on Boxing Day 2011.
Two years later Jang Song-thaek would be executed in one of Kim's first purges.
Despite being Supreme Leader of the reclusive state he is technically not the head of it.
That honour belongs to his grandfather Kim Il-sung who was declared the "Eternal President" on his death in 1994.
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnews%2F4203968%2Fkim-jong-un-age-north-korea-wife-school%2F&text=North%20Korea%20is%20shrouded%20in%20mystery%20-%20but%20what%20do%20we%20know%20about%20supreme%20leader%20Kim%20Jong-un%3F” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter