Kim Family Applied for Western Visas Using Brazilian Passports

Pyongyang, North Korea - Photo taken on Oct. 10, 2010, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (L) and Kim Jong Un (R), a son of Jong Il, reviewing a military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers Party of Korea in Pyongyang. North Korea …
Kyodo News via Getty Images

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and his father Kim Jong-il reportedly applied for Western visas using Brazilian passports back in the 1990’s.

Reuters published what it claims are photocopies of Brazilian passports held by both Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il, which they used to apply for visas.

“They used these Brazilian passports, which clearly show the photographs of Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il, to attempt to obtain visas from foreign embassies,” a Western European security source told the agency.

“This shows the desire for travel and points to the ruling family’s attempts to build a possible escape route,” they continued.

The passports, which provided the two men the names of “Josef Pwag” and “Ijong Tchoi,” were used to apply for visas in at least two Western countries and may have also been used in Brazil, Japan, and Hong Kong.

A Brazilian source confirmed to the Telegraph on the condition of anonymity that the two passports were legitimate documents and could be used for worldwide travel.

The North Korean embassy in Brazil has so far declined to comment, while the Brazilian foreign ministry has said it is investigating the matter.

Kim Jong-un is no stranger to Western countries, having been educated at an international boarding school in Switzerland where he posed as the son of an embassy chauffeur.

Classmates have described him as a likable and popular individual who enjoyed basketball and now struggle to reconcile the brutal dictator threatening nuclear war.

In 2011, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the young heir visited Tokyo in 1991 on a Brazilian passport, which is before the issue date on the recently uncovered passports.

Even North Korea’s leaders receive very little access to most foreign countries, mainly due to the lack of diplomatic relations and also for fear of being assassinated.

As North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un has never left North Korea. He previously scheduled trips to Iran in 2012 and Russia in 2015, although neither visit eventually came to fruition.

His father Kim Jong-il also rarely left the country, apart from two separate visits to China in 2010 and 2011, where he traveled by a private train. He also visited Russia in 2011 to meet then-President Dmitry Medvedev for unspecified talks and then died months later.

Despite their apparent hatred for the West and particularly the United States, both men are known to enjoy aspects of western culture, including its food, movies, sports teams, and women.

You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.