- Video recorded in 1983 shows Kim Jong Il and Xi Zhongxu sitting together during a diplomatic visit.
- Their sons, Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping, are now the leaders of North Korea and China.
- The two have recently started hosting similar visits themselves.
- In an odd twist, the concert where the two men sat together included a performance by singer Peng Liyuan.
- She would later marry Xi Jinping, and is now China’s first lady.
Vintage video of Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping’s dads spending time together on a diplomatic visit 35 years ago shows how the two leaders are family friends as well as geopolitical allies.
The leaders’ fathers, Kim Jong Il and Xi Zhongxu, were filmed by state TV at a concert somewhere in China during a bilateral visit in 1983, which echoes the modern China-North Korea summits of recent weeks.
At the time, the two men were close to the top level of power in their countries, but not quite there.
Kim Jong Il’s father, Kim Il Sung, was still Supreme Leader, and he was his heir apparent. Meanwhile Xi was a member of China’s powerful Politburo standing committee.
In a further twist of fate, the two communist leaders were entertained on the visit by a young Chinese singer, Peng Liyuan, who would leader go on to marry Xi Jinping and become China’s first lady.
You can watch the relevant part here, from 14 minutes, 10 seconds.
The footage appears to have been recorded during the visit for broadcast on North Korean state TV. It has the logo of Korean Central Television in its top-left corner, and is narrated in the same style as official propaganda videos.
A version of the visit is hosted on the YouTube channel North Korea Today, which uploaded it around a month ago. The channel hosts hundreds of other North Korean propaganda videos from the present and the past.
Xi Jinping, who is significantly older than Kim Jong Un, (he’s now 65, to Kim’s 35ish) would have been 30 at the time of the 1983 visit.
It is difficult to say what Kim Jong Un would have been doing then, since there is no settled date for when in the early 1980s he was born.
According to the oldest estimates, Kim could have been as old as 18 months during the visit, or he may not even have been born.
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