Kim Jong-nam Predicts Trouble for Kid Brother, the New Ruler of North Korea

UPDATE (22 January): The Guardian has an updated, more in-depth story on the book and its interviews with Kim Jong-nam. You can check it out here.

There’s been a flurry of reporting (The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times) the past couple of days about a new Japanese book purportedly based on interviews with Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-il’s eldest son and older half-brother of Kim Jong-eun, North Korea’s new ruler.

The Tokyo-based journalist who wrote the book, Yoji Gomi, says it is based on email exchanges and interviews with Kim Jong-nam over a period of years. In it, the older brother reportedly calls the third-generation succession a “joke” and expects Jong-eun will be nothing more than a figurehead. Not exactly a shocking prediction, but interesting given the reported source. If true, this book offers some of the most interesting insight into North Korea since that written by Kim Jong-il’s former sushi chef – a Japanese cook now on the run from NK ‘security’ services.


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