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Kim Jong-un had a Brazilian passport to escape if needed

Kim Jong-Un at the Sungri Motor Complex in South Pyongan Province.
Kim Jong-Un at the Sungri Motor Complex in South Pyongan Province. Photo: AFP Photo / KCNA via KNS

Kim Jong-un and his family used illegally-obtained passports from Brazil in order to apply for Western visas, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: One senior Western security source told Reuters the passports showed "the desire for travel and points to the ruling family's attempts to build a possible escape route." The ruling family of the reclusive nation used the passports, which were full of fake information, to travel to Japan, Hong Kong, and Brazil.

  • Jong Un's passport listed his name as "Josef Pwag," and his birth date as February 1, 1983.
  • His late father, Kim Jong-il, was named as "Ijong Tchoi" on his passport, with a birth date of April 4, 1940.
  • Reuters reports it's "unclear whether any visas were issued," but the Brazilian passports were "legitimate documents when sent out as blanks for consulates to issue."