Life imitates Austin Powers!
An aide to Kim Jong Un, the third and youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, planned to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, KBS television reported Monday. The plan was foiled by Chinese authorities, KBS said, citing a Chinese government source. [Kyodo News]
Well, maybe, but it’s too good not to blog. Other Kim Jong Un rumors hold that he was actually in China recently as a “special envoy.”
[Update: More on this in the Washington Post, via Reuters, which portrays it somewhat like the new vassal’s introductory kowtow, complete with a meeting with Hu Jintao. I should note that the original report is sourced back to the Asahi Shimbun, it of the famous photo fiasco.]
For those who still insist on something substantive despite the nearly complete absence of known facts, the words “irrelevance” and “figurehead” go far to inform this discussion:
“We know almost nothing about the young man,” said Andrei Lankov, a Russian-born North Korea specialist at Kookmin University in Seoul. “Very young, without any administrative experience to speak of, and without his own coterie — he had not had time to create a power base. He will be an obedient puppet in the hands of people who lobbied for this decision. Who are these people? I have no idea, to be frank.
The power elite will support another hereditary succession, to keep the peace, some analysts say. But “whoever the new leader is, it will be a collective leadership in name or actuality,” said Bruce Klingner at the Heritage Foundation, who has worked as a Korea analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. [N.Y. Times]
And why haven’t we seen his face? It’s only my guess, but it can’t be easy to deify a baby-faced, morbidly obese god-king as ruler of 23 million skeletal orphans and bereaved parents.