Kim Jong un stories

There are a bunch of Kim Jong-un stories in the media recently so I thought I would just post them here.

First of all, the Donga Ilbo reports that staff at North Korean missions have been told to pledge their loyalty to Kim Jong-un.

North Korea is known to have ordered its overseas missions to send written pledges of loyalty to heir apparent Kim Jong Un following his appointment as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Pyongyang also told them to send congratulatory letters to leader Kim Jong Il on his reappointment as the party’s general secretary.

A source on North Korea based in China said Tuesday, “Since last week, North Korean diplomats and traders in China have been sending loyalty letters to Kim Jong Un and congratulatory letters to Kim Jong Il. It is highly probable that Pyongyang ordered those residing elsewhere to do the same.”

This signals that the North is building up hype over Kim Jong Un and will introduce him as its next leader. A propaganda campaign is known to have begun on raising his profile.

Pyongyang is preparing a massive festival to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Workers` Party, and will also make some 10 million portraits of Kim Jong Un for distribution.

“I heard that North Koreans in Beijing recently received education, possibly on the plan for the succession of the third generation of the Kim family,” the source said.

In August, North Korean authorities are known to have told overseas diplomats and traders to pledge their loyalty to Kim Jong Un, according to another source. “In August, they were ordered to send letters and gifts ahead of the party convention in September. Since Kim Jong Un’s name had to remain secret, the letters called Jong Un ‘Young Gen. Kim,’” the source said.

Daily NK, a South Korea-based Web site on news on the North, said Wednesday that “loyalty resolve gatherings” are being held by the North Korean military.

Quoting a source from North Hamkyong Province in the communist country, the site said, “Official events have been held by border guard brigades, including the 25th Brigade in Ryanggang Province and the 27th Brigade in North Hamkyong Province, to praise and celebrate Kim Jong Il as the party’s general secretary and Kim Jong Un as his successor.”

The source said soldiers shouted slogans such as “With respect for young Gen. Kim Jong Un, we will complete our revolutionary achievements to the end!”

Though such gatherings have not yet been held outside the military, the source predicted that all sections, departments and workplaces will have to hold them soon.

Surprisingly, Kim Jong-nam has expresses his opposition (and loyalty) to the succession and North Korean system.  According to the Daily NK:

Kim Jong Nam, the outspoken first son of Kim Jong Il, has made a surprise revelation to a Japanese media outlet in Beijing, saying, “Personally, I am opposed to the third generation succession.”

In the interview with TV Asahi on the 9th, the day before the founding day of the Chosun Workers’ Party, Kim appeared to ward off the possible aftermath of his comments by appending, “However, I believe there must have been good reasons for it internally,” and adding, “And as long as there are reasons, I think we have to follow them.”

Regarding Kim Jong Eun’s appointment as successor, he went on, “It is my father’s decision,” and added, “There is nothing to regret. I have not taken any interest in it and I don’t care about it at all.”

However, Kim took the chance to extend the hand of assistance to his younger half-brother, saying, “I am prepared to assist my brother from abroad whenever he needs it. I will help him anytime.”

Asked to send a message to Kim Jong Eun, he said, “I hope my brother will do his best for the good life of North Korea and for the North Korean people.”

Kim Jong Nam’s occasional cameo appearances in the international media look like an effort to limit the tension that exists between himself and Kim Jong Eun through indirect channels.

One anonymous South Korean expert on international relations and strategy also alleges that Kim Jong Nam may be under the protection of Beijing, citing the fact that he was nowhere to be seen when the succession issue was at the forefront late last month and early in October, appearing to have gone into hiding.

An official with South Korean intelligence authorities explained the backdrop, saying, “We know that Kim Jong Nam left Macau and is living in China and another third country. Since he was born to a different mother (Sung Hye Rim) from Jong Eun and Jong Cheol (Ko Young Hee), Kim Jong Nam has lost influence.”

Since the early 2000s when he attempted to enter Japan on a fake Dominican Republic passport, Kim Jong Nam has been excluded from the heart of North Korean politics, living in Macau.

Perhaps Kim Jong-nam feels he may speak so openly because China has guaranteed his safety.  According to the Choson Ilbo:

Close aides to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s third son Jong-un planned to attack his older brother Kim Jong-nam when Jong-un was named as the successor to the leadership in January last year but China told them to leave him alone, officials here said Tuesday.

The North Korean leader’s reform-minded oldest son has been living in virtual exile in Beijing and Macau since he fell out of favor with his father.

A South Korean official said Jong-un’s aides tried “to do something to Kim Jong-nam, who has a loose tongue abroad,” but it seems China warned them not to lay a hand on him on Chinese soil.

Kim Jong-nam reportedly has close ties with China’s powerful “princelings,” an elite group of the children of senior Chinese officials. The plan was apparently fuelled by rumors that China would attempt to march into the North and install Kim Jong-nam as the ruler in case the regime collapses.

“Kim Jong-nam won’t go back to the North but stay in China,” the official added.

On Saturday, the 38-year old told Japanese TV he is against the hereditary succession in the North.

The Telegraph has more:

Since then Jong-nam has lead a fairly “ordinary” life with his wife and two children, flitting between the gambling hub of Macau and Beijing where he maintains a second property on a reported £500,000-a-year allowance.


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