Amid the speculation around Kim Jong-un‘s health, members of the Kim family have been brought into the spotlight. But the North Korean leader’s brother – Kim Jong-nam – hit out at his younger sibling in 2012, claiming his dictatorial rule in the country wouldn’t last. He told a South Korean newspaper that the succession of power to Kim Jong-un was “a joke to the outside world”. He added that his half brother would be “just a nominal figure” and that “the members of the power elite will be the ones in actual power”.
As Kim Jong-un succeeded his father in 2010, many wondered how we would adjust to leadership given his young age.
Kim Jong-nam added: “Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse.
“The Kim Jong-un regime will not last long.”
Like his half brother Kim Jong-nam was educated in the west, and he said that is why he resisted the repressive regime in Pyongyang.
He added: “Because I was educated in the West, I was able to enjoy freedom from an early age, and I still love being free.
“The reason I visit Macau so often is because it’s the most free and liberal place near China, where my family lives.”
Kim Jong-nam was the heir apparent for the leadership in the country until he fell out of favour in 2001.
This occured after he embarrassed the regime with a failed attempt to visit Tokyo Disneyland with a false passport, although Kim Jong-nam himself said his loss of favour had been due to advocating reform.
After leaving North Korea in 2003, Kim Jong-nam became a critic of his family’s dynasty.
Unconfirmed reports attributed to Beijing even claimed the dictator had died as the doctors arrived too late to complete a heart surgery.
However, South Korean officials claimed Kim is “alive and well”.
At a closed-door forum on Sunday, South Korea’s Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees engagement with the North, said the government has the intelligence capabilities to say with confidence that there was nothing unusual happening.
Moon Chung-in, the top foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told US media: “Our government position is firm.
“Kim Jong-un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
Seoul and Washington have argued that he could be sheltering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 12:35:00 +0000