Kim Jong-il (also written as Kim Jong Il, Korean: ???; born 16 February 1941, Vyatskoye, Khabarovsk Krai, Soviet Union; official biographies state 16 February 1942, Baekdu Mountain, Japanese Korea) is the de facto leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He is the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (the ruling party since 1948). He succeeded his father Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea, who died in 1994, and commands the fourth largest standing army in the world. North Korea officially refers to him as the "Dear Leader".