Thursday, January 19, 2012

North Korea’s leader will not last long, says Kim Jong-un’s brother

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) -- “The eldest son of North Korea's late leader Kim Jong-il has predicted the regime would soon fail, with or without reforms, according to a new book that the author says is based on emails and interviews with Kim Jong-nam.”
Kim Jong-un salutes during his father Kim Jong-il’s memorial service in Pyongyang (Photograph: North Korea TV/AFP/Getty Images)

This extraordinary statement was made in a story by Jonathan Watts and Tania Branigan in Beijing for the UK-based newspaper, The Guardian (

The journalists said that the book says that Kim Jong-nam – who has never met the new leader, his half-brother Kim Jong-un – described the dynastic succession as “a joke to the outside world”, and said even his father had originally opposed the hereditary transfer of power.

“The Kim Jong-un regime will not last long,” Kim Jong-nam is said to have written, forecasting a power struggle. “Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place the regime will collapse.”

Kim Jong-nam added: “I think we will see valuable time lost as the regime sits idle fretting over whether it should pursue reforms or stick to the present political structure.”

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of Kim Jong-il, says of his half-brother and the new leader of North Korea: ‘Kim Jong-un is still just a nominal figure’ (Photo: Joongang Sunday/AFP/Getty Images)
The journalists went on to say that the claims emerge in a book by Yoji Gomi, a journalist with Tokyo Shimbun, who said he exchanged emails with Kim Jong-nam over seven years. The date of the remarks on the regime is unclear.

Gomi, who lived for years in Seoul and Beijing, said he met Kim three times in total, once in 2004 and twice in 2011.

“He gave me a very good impression. He's very gentle and friendly,” Gomi said.

“We exchanged emails over some time and when I suggested compiling our exchanges as a book, he agreed. At first he wanted publication to be delayed, but when I said we ought to go ahead because of everything that is happening in North Korea right now, he said that was OK. I don't feel that he has any ambition to become leader of North Korea, but he wants to contribute to improving the situation in the country. He travels a great deal, but his base is in Macau.”

The story added, “A publicist for the Bungei Shunju publishing company said the book would be published shortly.

Dan Wooding and Dr. David Cho, who led the team that Wooding was part of into North Korea, pictured besides huge statue of Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang
“Kim Jong-nam has previously offered relatively outspoken if brief remarks on the North to journalists who have tracked him down, but these reported messages go much further. Experts on North Korea cautioned that it was impossible to verify the details unless or until Kim Jong-nam confirmed he had written the emails.”

They concluded by saying that in one message, Kim Jong-nam remarked: “I'm concerned how Jong-un, who merely resembles my grandfather [former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung], will be able to satisfy the needs of North Koreans.
“Kim Jong-un is still just a nominal figure and the members of the power elite will be the ones in actual power.”

Note from Dan Wooding: Having once been to North Korea on a reporting trip, I find this information quite intriguing and an amazing look behind the secretive curtain of this mysterious land. Only time will tell if this turn out to be true. In the meantime, let us continue to pray for the many suffering Christians in North Korea who are in the numerous concentration camps there. Once again, Open Doors, in its World Watch List, has named North Korea as the World’s Worst Persecutor of Christians for the ninth straight year.

Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

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