[VIDEO] Who was Kim Jong Nam?
Today’s report is on the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of Kim Jong Un.
Firstly, a close description of who Kim Jong Nam really is. Kim Jong Nam was born to Kim Jong Il and Song Hye-rim in 1971. At the time, Kim Jong Il and Song Hye-rim, an actress, were in an adulterous relationship. Both Kim Jong Il and Song Hye-rim were married. Song Hye-rim was born the second daughter of a noble family from Seokri village, Daeji-myeon, Changnyeong-gun in 1937. During the Korean War, she and her parents relocated northwards. She graduated from Pyongyang School of Arts, and featured in the 1960s North Korean Movie ‘Baek Il Hong’.
She married the first son of Lee Ki-yong, a writer who also relocated from South to North Korea during the war, and had a son. After their marriage, she graduated from Pyongyang Movie College, and starred in a movie titled ‘Bunkyeseon Maul’ (Demarcation Line Village), where she shot to fame as North Korea’s leading actress.
Kim Jong Il, who was five years younger than Song, demanded that she come to his official residence, and she ended up divorcing her husband. From 1969 she lived with Kim Jong Il, and two years later, in 1971, she gave birth to Kim Jong Nam.
Kim Jong Il had taken extra precautions in hiding his relationship with his mistress. In fact, he did this so well that even his father, Kim Il Sung, did not know about Kim Jong Nam until some time later. Kim Jong Il’s only other blood relative, Kim Kyunghee, also did not approve of Song Hye-rim, and Song was forced to move to Moscow, leaving her son behind. After Song Hye-rim’s departure, Kim Il Sung arranged for Kim Jong Il to marry Kim Young-Sook, a managing chairperson of the Cheongsan-li cooperative farm.
Song Hye-rim meanwhile, suffered depression and insomnia. Finally, in May 2002, she passed away in a hospital in Moscow. She was 63 years old.
Kim Jong Nam was raised by his aunt Song Hye-rang and his maternal grandmother. Pictured above is a photo of the family in 1992, taken around Kim Jong Il’s birthday.
In 2001, Kim Jong Nam was caught in Narita Airport, Japan, with a fake passport. Since then, Kim Jong Nam was no longer considered a candidate for succession by Kim Jong Il, and spent most of his life moving between foreign countries.
Kim Jong Nam has one son and one daughter. His son and his oldest, Kim Hansol, is known to be a brilliant student, studying politics as a prestigious university in Paris. A number of French Presidents are amongst its graduates. After completing his studies last year he returned to Macau, but his current whereabouts cannot be certain.
During a 2013 interview with a Finnish outlet, Kim Hansol has expressed his wish for unification and that he would like to know more about his uncle Kim Jong Un. He also said that he was unsure about how Kim Jong Un came to power, and even referred to him as a dictator.
On the 13th of February, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Following this, the safety of Kim Hansol has become a great concern.
Kim Jong Nam’s body is currently at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital.
One report suggests that one of the suspects, a hostess at a Malaysian nightclub, agreed to the act because she needed extra money.
Kim Jong Nam lived an unfortunate life as the estranged son of a dictator, until the age of 46. Why was he killed, and who was behind it?
Reporting by Ju Sun-hwa.