Profile: Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un has taken on the mantle of North Korea's supreme leadership with little political or military experience behind him.
Kim Jong-il, North Korea's "Dear Leader", was in the process of grooming Kim Jong-un as his successor when he died on 17 December 2011.
Immediately after his father's death, the younger Kim was hailed as "the great successor". He was named head of the party, state and army within a fortnight of his father's death.
Most recently he was appointed marshal, following a high-level military reshuffle in which army chief Ri Yong-ho was removed.
The highest military rank, it could cement his control over the army.'Morning Star King'
Little is still known about the elusive young man who is the youngest son of Kim Jong-il and his late third wife Ko Yong-hui.
Born in 1983 or early 1984, he was initially not thought to be in the frame to take up his father's mantle.
Analysts focused their attention on his half-brother Kim Jong-nam and older full brother Kim Jong-chol.
However Kim Jong-nam's deportation from Japan in May 2001 and middle brother Kim Jong-chol's apparent "unmanliness" improved his chances.
Analysts saw him as the coming man after he was awarded a series of high-profile political posts.
Swiss-educated like his brothers, Kim Jong-un avoided Western influences, returning home when not in school and dining out with the North Korean ambassador.
Since his return to Pyongyang, he is known to have attended the Kim Il-sung Military University.
His mother was thought to be Kim Jong-il's favourite wife, and she clearly doted on her son, reportedly calling him the "Morning Star King".
In his 2003 book, I Was Kim Jong-il's Chef, a Japanese man writing under the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto also claimed that Jong-un was his father's favourite.
In August 2010 Kim Jong-il visited China. One South Korean TV station cited a South Korean official as saying Kim Jong-un had accompanied his father on the trip.
Some reports speculated that he had been anointed successor partly because of his resemblance to North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung.
A few North Korea watchers went so far as to say that he may have had plastic surgery to enhance the resemblance, in a country where the deification of the Kim family is at the heart of its grip on power.
There have already been poems and a song, Footsteps, composed, to promote the young man's virtues as a leader.
North Korea's tightly-controlled media has also been building up a personality cult around Mr Kim in the six months since the death of his father.
Coverage has moved in stages, from respectful mentions to presenting him now as a confident, modern leader in tune with the daily concerns of citizens.
He made his first public speech as North Korea marked the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il-sung on 15 April, praising the "military first" doctrine and vowing the time his nation could be threatened was "forever over".
"Superiority in military technology is no longer monopolised by imperialists," he said, adding: "We have to make every effort to reinforce the people's armed forces."
A few months into his leadership, North Korea launched a rocket which it said would put a satellite into orbit. The launch, which failed, was seen by many as a banned test of long-range missile technology.
Little was known of his personal life until television footage of an unidentified woman attending events with him in July brought her into the limelight.
Weeks after she sparked much discussion and debate, state media announced that Mr Kim was married to ''Comrade Ri Sol-ju'' and they were shown visiting an amusement park opening together.
Ms Ri is believed to be the same woman who was shown with him on state TV on 8 July at an official ceremony in honour of his late grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and again at a concert.
Little is know of her, but her stylish appearance - short, chic haircut and Western dress - led some analysts to suggest that she was from a upper-class family and that she fits Mr Kim's efforts to project a more relaxed image compared to his predecessors.