News / Asia

    New Book Sheds Light on North Korea Dynasty

    Kim Jong Nam, eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, shown on cover of a Japanese book by journalist Yoji Gomi to be published Jan. 20 by Bungei Shunju.
    Kim Jong Nam, eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, shown on cover of a Japanese book by journalist Yoji Gomi to be published Jan. 20 by Bungei Shunju.

    Analysts who follow North Korea are awaiting publication of a Japanese book promising to give a rare glimpse into thoughts of the hereditary dynasty ruling the reclusive country.

    In a book to be published next week Kim Jong Il's eldest son is quoted as saying he has little confidence in his younger half-brother, Kim Jong Un, to turn around impoverished and isolated North Korea.

    That is according to the author, Japanese journalist Yoji Gomi.

    "I feel that he has some jealousy about Kim Jong Un because his father, Kim Jong Il, selected him as the next leader," noted Gomi. "Sometimes he said to me that Kim Jong Un has no vision to rule North Korea, how to enrich North Korean people."

    Gomi says he interviewed Kim Jong Nam for a total of seven hours last year in Beijing and Macao and has also corresponded with him several times since Kim Jong Il's death last month.

    "He said to me many times he has no intention to go back to North Korea. But many people, including North Korean people and Chinese people, expect him to go back to North Korea as a kind of leader," Gomi said.

    The author describes the 40-year old Kim Jong Nam as a true socialist despite his opulent lifestyle in exile, mainly in Macau.  He desires the transformation of North Korea and wants it to emulate China's state-managed economic reforms.  But Gomi says the eldest son is still contemplating just how much of a role he wants to take to bring about change in his homeland.

    "I've encouraged to him to be more talkative about North Korea and sometimes criticize North Korean policy, but he has not decided," Gomi stated.

    Gomi also quotes Kim Jong Nam saying his late father was reluctant to have any of his sons assume power. The North Korean also commented that the new leader, Kim Jong Il's third son, will be used as a symbol, ensuring continuing of the military-first system and the closed economy.

    The author, a writer for the daily Tokyo Shimbun, says Kim did not want the book released at this sensitive time, so soon after the death of his father. But the publishing company (Bungei Shunju) plans to distribute the book on January 20.

    Gomi says Kim expressed concern authorities in Pyongyang will do "something dangerous" if the Japanese book is issued. However, the author says Beijing will ensure Kim is not harmed because he has been living under its protection for years and strongly supports the Chinese system.

    In the late 1990s, Kim Jong Nam  was apparently being groomed to succeed his father, but fell out of favor. Reports say that happened after his arrest in 2001 at Narita International Airport when he tried to enter Japan on a forged Dominican Republic passport, accompanied by a woman and a small boy.  Kim is reported to have told Japanese investigators the trio planned to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

    Since the death of their father, Kim's half brother has been touted as North Korea's new "supreme commander" and "great successor."

    Another book, published in 2003 by a Japanese man claiming to have been the family's chef characterized Kim Jong Un as his father's favorite child and described the middle son (Kim Jong Chol) as "unmanly" and dismissed as a potential successor.

    Some analysts say, despite the North Korean media's increasing descriptions of Kim Jong Un as an experienced leader, the real control of the country is in the hands of one or more senior figures, including a vice chairman of the national defense commission, Jang Song Thaek, the husband of Kim Jong Il's sister.

    A South Korean institute, affiliated with the country's foreign ministry has released a report predicting it is likely this year North Korea will launch a long-range missile and detonate a third nuclear test, to consolidate Kim Jong Un's military credentials.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora