I figured something bad was going to happen to Kim Jong Nam after that book came out.
Well-known playboy and occasional critic of his father’s regime, Kim Jong-nam has been kicked out of luxury hotel in the Chinese gambling hub of Macau, according to a Russian newspaper. The Arguments and Facts weekly claimed Jong-nam ran up a bill of £9,500 but was unable to pay because his credit card had been cancelled.Jong-nam’s decadent lifestyle saw him ditched as the heir-apparent in favour of his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un. He gave us his Visa Gold card but it ended up having no money on the account,” the mass-circulated paper quoted an unnamed source at the hotel as saying.The management of the five-star Grand Lapa Hotel, run by the Mandarin Oriental chain, then expelled the 40-year-old from his 17th-floor room, the paper said. [The Telegraph]
Just cutting off his credit card seems to be less than a complete answer if the objective is to silence him. I’m sure the CIA would gladly maintain Jong Nam in a comfortable lifestyle for some of the information he could offer them. I’m sure the Chinese realize that, too. Poor Kim Jong Nam. I don’t think his troubles are over.
Update: Well, maybe. Kushibo and Spelunker point to a NYT blog post noting that the casino is now denying the story. I’d call the story “unconfirmed” at this point, but I’m not convinced it was false, at least when written. For one thing, it’s just Mark McDonald’s blog, and McDonald’s new foray into opinion journalism is giving us a good look at where his biases lie (better to know than not know, I guess). For another, that’s precisely what I’d expect the hotel/casino management to say, and also what I’d expect the Chinese government to tell the hotel to say. If Kim Jong Nam is still the living, gambling, gluttonous embodiment of Asian Communism six months from now, we’ll have a pretty good idea this story was another regrettable example of the shortcomings of post-Soviet journalism.