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'Chances are slim Kim Han Sol could ever lead his homeland'

'Chances are slim Kim Han Sol could ever lead his homeland'

Posted March. 18, 2017 07:17,   

Updated March. 18, 2017 07:26

‘A future leader of North Korea?’

The New York Times posted a special video story on Kim Han Sol, the eldest son of Kim Jong Nam on Thursday (local time) with the title, "Kim Han-sol: A future leader of North Korea?" The story was to consider the possibility for him to replace North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, his uncle, and it was enough to offend Pyongyang.

However, the NYT came to the conclusion that changes are slim he could ever lead his homeland, completely opposite to the title. Although his cosmopolitan aspects are appealing such as studying in overseas and fluent in English, he is still young and less-respected in North Korea. The NYT concluded that he will not be able to replace his uncle to be the leader of the North.

Bruce Cumings, expert on modern Korean history and chair professor at the University of Chicago, said, “It is true that he is of royal blood. However, he is still wet behind the ears.” Steven Nofer, professor at Columbia University, forecasted that Kim Han Sol is barely suitable for the leader of his country. “Considering that the North Korean government tightly controls all information coming in and out of the country, residents in North Korea might not know the existence of Kim Jong Nam and his family at all,” the professor said.

In a 2012 interview for Finnish media, Kim Han Sol referred to his uncle as a "dictator." Some argued that he should worry about death threats as he lost favor in his uncle’s eyes due to the interview. “(Kim Han Sol) is a betrayer for those who support and are royal to North Korea’s ruling Kim family,” Kookmin University professor Andrei Lankov said.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com