There is one North Korean who enjoys a measure of freedom of speech:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s eldest son says the North should abandon the “Songun” or military first doctrine and pursue reforms and open up. Kim Jong-nam (39), who was passed over for the succession in favor of his 20-something brother, made the remarks in an interview with the Tokyo Shimbun.
He also commented on the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, referring to the waters surrounding the South Korean island as a “battle zone,” and said there are “forces” in the North Korean regime who are trying to use the attack to justify the Songun doctrine and nuclear weapons.
My first reaction: watch your back. My second reaction: he’s positioning himself to take power in a post-Kim Jong Il era, perhaps as a Chinese-backed Pu Yi figure.
Kim Jong-nam said the currency reform in late 2009 was a “failure.” “I do not believe people’s lives are improving,” he said, adding it is time for North Korea to start reforms and open up.