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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

The dynasty of Kim Jong Il

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Kim Jong Il

Kim Jong Il

The reasoning behind North Korea’s recent sabre-rattling is starting to become clear. It had nothing to do with defense or aggression by foreign powers, and everything to do with securing a succession.

The ailing ruler of North Korea has chosen to finally step down in favour of his son. Not his eldest son though, but his youngest.

Kim Jong Il has three heirs, and I am going to tell you a little bit about them, what little we actually know.

Kim Jong Il and his eldest son (far right), along with his sister in law and her family

Kim Jong Il and his eldest son (far right), along with his sister in law and her family

The eldest son, by Jong’s first wife, Kim Jong Nam, fell out of favour with his father because of his bon vivieur habits and love of the good life. He lives in Macao, a former Portuguese colony neighbouring Hong Kong, where he is an avid gambler.

The middle boy is Kim Jong Chol, 28. He is said to be a bit effeminate and never really found his father’s approval. Some dictators do ‘ave ‘em. He came from a different mother to his older half-brother.

Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un

But the heir to a starving country and several megatons of nukes is Kim Jong-Un. A defector said that he is most like his father out of the three, and the only one who has not been a real disappointment. He has the same mother is Kim Jong Chol, a dancer called Ko Yong Hi.

The young Kim Jong-Un is said to be very much his father’s son, both in looks and personality. He is a fiercely determined individual, with piercing eyes. He shares his father’s health problems, particularly diabetes, various disabilities caused by a car crash in recent years, and he is said to be overweight. Nobody has seen a picture of him since he was eleven years old.

He started working in the People’s Organisation Guidance Department when he was 21, and served with their internal intelligence bureau, very much a secret police force.

So what kind of country will he inherit?

An Orwellian nightmare, frankly. The whole country was starving in 1995 and has barely recovered. The population serve no less than thirteen years mandatory army service, surely the longest in the world. Arable land is at a premium and the harvest collectivized. Loudspeakers in the street play martial music and give announcement and directions from the ‘Dear Leader’. Children are at school in the morning and work the fields in the afternoon, six days a week. They do several hours labour on Sundays too.

Cars are extremely rare, mostly owned by the party, and only for official use. Foreign travel is out of the question. There is one TV and radio station that is controlled by the state, it only gives news from party officials and plays martial music. There is no known resistance groups fighting for freedom from communism. It seems North Korea is doomed to decades more of hard-line communist rule.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

June 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Posted in in the news

One Response

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  1. Down with Kim Jong II he is a fat greasey son of a bitch


    February 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

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