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Video posted by son of North Korean assassinated in Malaysia

Mar 08,2017
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A video was posted on YouTube with a message spoken by Kim Han-sol, the eldest son of Kim Jong-nam, who was assassinated last month at an airport in the Malaysian capital.

“My name is Kim Han-sol. I am from North Korea,” says the young man in the video, who calls himself, “part of the Kim family,” referring to the dynasty that has ruled North Korea with an iron fist grip for three generations rule, starting from his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the state founder, in 1948.

The man in the video is highly likely to be Kim Han-sol, who gave a TV interview in 2012 to Elisabeth Rehn, a former lawmaker and minister of defense in Finland. In the 2012 interview, he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “dictator.”

To prove his identity, the man shows a North Korean diplomatic passport, but when he opens it to show its identification page, the image is blacked out on camera.

“My father has been killed a few days ago I am currently with my mother and sister,” said Kim. “And we are very grateful to …” The rest of that sentence is cut off.

At the end of the 40-second video, Kim said, “We hope this will get better soon.”

Kim does not reveal his location nor the filming date. A group called Cheollima Civil Defense uploaded the video at around 7 a.m. Wednesday on YouTube. Cheollima in Korean means a horse that can travel up to 400 kilometers (248 miles) a day. A message below the clip reads in Korean: “To the people of North Korea.”

On its website, the group said it had “responded last month to an emergency request by survivors of the family of Kim Jong Nam for extraction and protection.” It noted that three members had been “relocated to safety” without elaborating further.

“This will be the first and last statement on this particular matter, and the present whereabouts of this family will not be addressed,” said the group.

Kim’s video is the only clip the group has uploaded on the video sharing site.

The YouTube video breaks Kim Han-sol’s silence since his father’s assassination in the middle of an airport in Kuala Lumpur three weeks ago amid questions over his safety and whereabouts.

It was thought the son might fly to Malaysia for a DNA identification process and to claim his father’s body days after the killing but Kim hasn’t.

Malaysian authorities have identified a banned chemical component, VX nerve agent, as the cause of Kim Jong-nam’s death. North Korea has refuted that finding and demands the return of his body.


BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]