Kim Jong Un birthday passes without media reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is marking his birthday on Saturday although the occasion has not been noted by the media.

Kim's actual age has never been determined, but South Korea's Unification Ministry says he was born in 1984, which would make him 38 years old.

His birthday has not been designated as a national holiday on the country's calendar unlike the birthday of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung who is considered the country's founder, and the birthday of his father, Kim Jong Il. Massive celebrations are still held to mark both their birthdays.

The ruling Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Shinmun made no mention of Kim Jong Un's birthday.

December 30 marked the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong Un's rise to supreme commander of North Korea's military. He appears to have cemented his grip on power during the past decade.

But there seems to have been no noticeable improvements in the North Korean people's lives as the country's economy remains weighed down by UN sanctions while the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the North to close its borders.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says Kim Jong Il's birthday was made a national holiday when he turned 40 years old.

Experts say North Korean officials may be carefully considering the timing of making Kim Jong Un's birthday a national holiday in order to iconize their leader and strengthen his power base.