The current leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un and his late father, Kim Jong Il, used fraudulently obtained Brazilian passports to apply for visas to visit Western countries in the 1990s. This information was presented by Reuters in 2018, stating that this is the only piece of evidence made public. When the fake passports were made public, North Korea responded by saying they were used specifically to travel to Western countries, such as going to Disneyland and other attractions that Kim Jong Un, at a young age, would be interested in.
Taking into consideration the notorious history Brazil has when it comes to welcoming controversial people, some think that the creation of those fake passports was the ruling family’s attempt to build a possible escape route in case something did not go according to plans. The decline of Communism within Eastern Europe brought some tensions where Kim Jong II thought he would be pressured by the Western World into a political change.
A senior Western security source spoke on condition of anonymity about the real reasons behind the passport. The leader of North Korea at the time was trying to build relations with different embassies within the western world in order to obtain visas. The same security agent states that these visas could have been used to gain North Korean agents access to Western countries so they could spy and gain intelligence.
“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. This shows the desire for travel and points to the ruling family’s attempts to build a possible escape route,” (Western security source said on condition of anonymity)
The 10-year passports carry a stamp saying “Embassy of Brazil in Prague” with a Feb. 26, 1996, issue date. The security sources said facial recognition technology confirmed the photographs were those of Kim Jong Un and his father.
What is even more interesting is the fake names they have been given on their passports. The late Kim Jong II has been named IJong Tchoi and Kim Jong Un as Josef Pwag with a date of birth of Feb. 1, 1983. Based on the date issued on the fake passport, Kim Jong Un would have been around 14 years old.
Obtaining passports fraudulently doesn't seem to have been much of a problem for the Kims. The North Korean embassy in Brazil declined to comment on this case. It is unlcear if any visas were issues with the use of the fake passports and other relations that may have been created in western countries.