Persistent rumors* have Kim Jong-il's eldest son, nowadays in Macau, defect to China.
This wouldn't come as a surprise : Kim Jong-nam, a compulsive gambler, knows perfectly where the odds for him not only to survive**, but to lead North Korea would be the highest.
Daddy officially picked Jong-nam's younger brother Kim Jong-un as his successor, and China literally enrages at this official declaration of independence*** : Kim Jong-nam could become Beijing's ideal puppet to prepare a coup against the ageing leader or rather his younger son.
Kim Il-sung's and Kim Jong-il's blood runs through Kim Jong-nam's veins, which could grant him legitimacy to rule. Beijing could try to discredit the Pyeongyang regime and host a "resistance" movement home. After all, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was in exile in Shanghai.
But here, you would expect some location more consistent with the infamous Northeastern Project : according to this official revisionist propaganda, such a puppet resistance government would not be in exile but reside in the Chinese part of Korea, because Korea could only reunite as a Chinese province****.
Not The Last Emperor, but the first governor.
* and the Shankei Shimbun (May 1, 2009 edition), mentioning sometimes inebriated phone conversations between Kim Jong-nam and Kim Jong-il's sister, Kim Kyung-hee. The rehabilitation of her husband Chang Sung-taek by Pyeongyang could further isolate Kim Jong-nam.
** rumor has also it that Kim Jong-nam, confused with another man, escaped from an abduction attempt
*** see on blogules V.F. "Kim Jong-Un Deux Trois" (20090602)
**** see "the great Hanschluss"
initially published on Seoul Village.
20090617 update : in an informal interview (NHK), Kim Jong-nam played a very low profile, distancing himself from politics and confirming his little brother must have received the paternal benediction. Time for appeasement from Pyeongyang as well : Kim Jong-eun paid a visit to Hu Jintao. Rattle can only last for a limited period of time when pressure mounts from everywhere... Rumor has it the attempted assassination of Jong-nam originated from Jong-il's sister, and that China prevented it... Ever wondered why dramas were so popular here ?
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