“My Father, Kim Jong Il, and I: Kim Jong Nam’s Exclusive Confession”

27 01 2012

ImageYoji Gomi, Senior Staff Writer, Tokyo Shimbun, author of “My Father, Kim Jong Il, and I: Kim Jong Nam’s Exclusive Confession” gave press conference given at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Jan 24, 2012.

For journalists, getting reliable information out of North Korea is notoriously difficult. Getting a one-on-one interview with an insider with unique insight into the family that has run the country since it was created, the party, the politics and the people definitely counts as a scoop.

Yoji Gomi, a journalist with the Tokyo Shimbun, must thank the gods of journalism for the chance meeting in a Beijing airport with Kim Jong-Nam.

The oldest son of the recently departed Dear Leader, Kim Jong-nam was apparently being groomed to succeed Kim Jong-il as leader of the reclusive state until he was arrested in May 2001 trying to enter Japan on a forged Dominican Republic passport with two women and a boy aged 4. He told Japanese police that he wanted to visit Disneyland.

Furious at his son’s indiscretion, Kim Jong-il banished him to Macau and turned to Kim Jong-un as his eventual successor.

After meeting Gomi in Beijing, the journalist interviewed the man who could have been ruling North Korea, in Macao and through more than 150 e-mails. The result is the timely release, on January 20, of “My Father, Kim Jong-Il, and I: Kim Jong-Nam’s Exclusive Confession.”

Gomi commented on Kim Jong-Nam’s opposition to the hereditary transition of power to his half-brother and his ambition to one day return to his homeland.

Listen to the audio record (MP3) of the press conference here…

Rule By The Dead

1 05 2009

By Christian Caryl and B. J. Lee, NEWSWEEK (Dec 8, 2008)

kumsusan-palaceIn 1994, the future looked dark for North Korea. The collapse of Soviet communism had eliminated much of itsoutside support, its people were starving and its economy was imploding. When the country’s leader, Kim Il Sung, died, many predicted his regime would soon follow. Kim Jong Il, his heir, looked like a lightweight who would be unable to hold things together.

The pundits were wrong, of course, and 14 years later Kim is still around. In what condition, however, has been a guessing game since August, when, according to Japanese and South Korean officials, a stroke partly incapacitated the 66-year-old Dear Leader. Now uncertainty about his health and his failure to appoint a successor has spurred another round of speculation about what comes next. Again, experts are predicting the regime’s collapse. Surely the end of the Kim dynasty will bring radical change to the land.

Or will it? It turns out that few hardened Korea watchers expect the Hermit Kingdom to transform itself soon, even if Kim dies. Moon Jong In, a former adviser to two South Korean presidents and a professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University, argues that “North Korea is run by a system, not a person.” Moon should know, since he attended the 2000 and 2007 North-South summits and has met most of Kim’s entourage. He doesn’t dispute that Kim is the supreme leader but is convinced that Kim’s underlings will keep the place running smoothly if their boss expires. Moon argues that Kim’s confederates, contrary to widespread belief, are savvy, well informed—”they read the South Korean newspapers more than their own”—and entirely capable of adapting….

…Some experts argue the real power broker in the North Korea today is the Army—the fourth largest in the world and a force that consumes about a third of the nation’s GDP. The National Defense Commission, which oversees the military, is chaired by Kim himself, and once he dies his generals will be well positioned to claim Kim’s mantle. As for what to expect from a military-led regime, analysts predict it would quickly try to demonstrate its importance by provoking a showdown with Washington or Seoul. Leonid Petrov, a Russian North Korea watcher based in the South, argues that that’s already happening, pointing to recent moves such as announced plans to shut down the North-South border and new restrictions on travel to China.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and if Kim manages to hang on for a few more years, he might be able to position one of his sons to take the reins as a true leader, not a figurehead. Until his stroke, it was widely believed that Kim planned to wait until 2012, the centennial of his father’s birth, to announce his successor. Should he recover, he could accelerate this process (until now, he’s basically kept his kids out of the limelight and prevented them from getting administrative experience). But that’s looking increasingly unlikely. South Korean government officials say in private that Kim’s initial stroke was serious enough to leave him unconscious for more than 24 hours, and that 40 percent of his body has been paralyzed since. That suggests that even if Kim does hang on, his ability to govern will be considerably compromised. All the more ironic, then, if the system he helped create manages to keep on going without him.

See the full text here…

사랑하는 북녘의 동포들에게!

29 11 2008

– 자유조선(북한)운동연합, 조선(북한)인민해방전선 –

kji_wives-and-mistresses사랑하는 북조선인민들이여!

우리는 얼마 전까지만 해도 여러분들처럼 북조선에서 굶주림과 가난과 무권리 속에서 노예처럼 살았지만 천신만고 끝에 지금은 대한민국의 품에 안긴 탈북자들입니다.

우리는 세상에서 가장 악랄한 감시와 통제, 폭력과 학살, 가난과 굶주림을 참다못해 피눈물을 뿌리며 목숨 걸고 압록강과 두만강을 건너 모진 고초와 사선을 헤치고 자유와 민주, 인권이 보장된 진정한 조국 대한민국에 살면서 참된 인간의 삶, 인간의 행복이 무엇인지 자유와 민주가 무엇인지를 이곳에서 실지 생활체험을 통해 뼈저리게 느꼈습니다.

북조선 사람이라면 그가 누구든지 압록강과 두만강을 건느는 그 순간부터 김정일이라는 사람은 북조선 인민들을 파리 목숨보다 못한 노예로 부리는 희대의 살인마임을 알게 됩니다. 또한 국경을 건너 중국 사람들의 생활을 알게 되는 순간부터 조선인민들이 겪는 모든 고통과 가난과 굶주림이 김정일 단 한 사람 때문임을 바로 알게 됩니다.

하여 우리들은 여기 자유의 대한민국 땅에서 북조선의 부모형제와 친척들과 동무들을 악마 같은 김정일과 그의 반인민적 선군독재로부터 해방하기 위해 투쟁하고자 “조선(북한)인민해방전선”과  “자유조선(북한)운동련합”을 조직하고 분연한 투쟁에 일떠섰습니다.

현재 북조선 인민들이 겪고 있는 식량난과 경제난은 모두 김정일의 반인민적인 세습 군사독재 때문입니다. 김정일을 타도하고 김정일의 개인 어용정당인 로동당을 해체하며 인민을 위한, 인민에 의한 인민의 개혁과 개방을 하게 되면 식량난도 해결하고 북조선 인민들이 자유와 권리를 가지고 당당하게 잘 살 수 있습니다.

그러자면 가장 먼저 김일성과 김정일에 의하여 왜곡되고 조작된 력사와 인민에게 총대를 겨눈 선군정치의 진실, 북과 남의 차이 등을 제대로 알아야 합니다.

북조선 정부는 쏘련에 의해 세워진 괴뢰정부였습니다.

1945년 9월 20일 쏘련 수상 스탈린은 쏘련 극동군 총사령관과 연해주 군관구 군사평의회에 극비명령서를 보냈는데 이 명령서가 1993년 공개 되였습니다. 이 명령서에서 스딸린은 북조선에 민주주의로 가장한 “프로레타이아 독재정권을 수립할 것”을 지시했습니다…

See here the full text of South Korean propaganda leaflets delivered to the North by baloons…

Что случилось с Ким Чен Иром?

29 10 2008

Леонид Петров, Сеульский Вестник

Вот уже полтора месяца, как СМИ всего мира задают вопрос – “Что случилось с Ким Чен Иром?”  А.Ланьков, И.Захарченко и К.Асмолов уже уделяли этому вопросу немало внимания. Самые последние сообщения говорят о том, что КЧИ лежит в больнице, приглашает к себе нейро-хирургов из Китая и Франции, но страной по-прежнему руководит (AFP: Kim Jong-Il likely in hospital: Japan PM). Причём, в качестве источника этой информации журналисты сегодня цитируют нового Премьер-министра Японии Таро Асо и известного историка, профессора Токийского Университета Вада Харуки…

Японский фактор

До сегодняшнего дня все слухи о болезни КЧИ исходили из Японии, а именно из японских газет, которым (по оценкам А.Ланькова) доверять можно не более чем на 2%. Западная пресса эти слухи дружно поддерживала и активно муссировала. Своим непоявлением на важных мероприятиях общенационального значения (парад 9 сентября, празднования 10 октября, и т.д.) сам КЧИ этим слухам придавал новый импульс. Почему именно Япония стала источником такого рода интригующей информации? ( See the full text here… )


Y después de Kim, ¿quién tendrá el control?

27 10 2008

Aunque muchos norcoreanos lo crean, el Jefe de Estado Kim Jong Il no es inmortal. Pero el régimen comunista, con capacidad nuclear, carece de un plan de sucesión.


¿Hay algo más inquietante que un líder autócrata con un ejército de 6 millones de personas, que no tiene reparos en desafiar a Occidente con su programa nuclear? Sí, es el caos que se produciría cuando ese país pierda a su gobernante y las facciones de poder se enfrasquen en una lucha feroz por el poder.

Este panorama se planteó como una posibilidad el mes pasado cuando el auto proclamado “Querido Líder” Kim Jong Il, de 66 años, estuvo ausente de la vista pública durante 50 días, incluso faltando al 60º aniversario de independencia de Corea del Norte el 9 de septiembre.

En su ausencia, informes de la inteligencia de Corea del Sur y de EE.UU. aseguraron que Kim había tenido un derrame cerebral, lo que las autoridades norcoreanas negaron. Enfermo o no, surge una pregunta: ¿Quién tomará el control cuando Kim no esté?

El panorama es incierto. A diferencia de su padre, el fundador de Corea del Norte Kim Il Sung, que lo preparó por 15 años para gobernar, Kim Jong Il no ha anunciado a un sucesor. “El periodo de inestabilidad sería más largo e intenso (que tras la muerte de Kim Il Sung en 1994) ya que traería luchas de poder”, dice el experto en norcorea de la Universidad Nacional de Australia, Leonid Petrov.

Posibles escenarios

De sus tres hijos, los expertos se inclinan por el segundo, Kim Jong Chol (ver recuadro). También se nombra a su cuñado, Jang Song Taek, quien tiene un puesto alto en la jerarquía. Con cualquiera de ellos habría problemas de legitimidad: “Los hijos no tienen el prestigio de Kim. Él construyó un culto a la personalidad durante años, mientras estaba vivo su padre”, explica Denny Roy, experto en temas de seguridad de Asia Pacífico del East West Center, en Washington.

Otro escenario sería un gobierno colectivo, pero hay tres grupos que disputarían el poder: el Partido de los Trabajadores, la elite en torno a la familia Kim y los militares. “El mundo verá un montón de gatos peleando dentro de una bolsa hasta que el ganador de la pelea emerja a la vista pública”, opina el especialista en Japón y Corea, jefe de The Economist en Tokio, Dominic Ziegler.

Pero uno de los gatos tiene más ventaja sobre los otros. “Kim Jong Il y los generales del ejército tienen control sobre el armamento y las armas nucleares, si es que las hay”, apunta Choong Nam Kim, experto en Corea y ex asesor político de dos presidentes surcoreanos. Explica que las elites perderán el poder por la falta de legitimidad de los hijos y que la importancia del partido ya ha disminuido por la política de “Ejército Primero” de Kim, mientras que los militares se verán fortalecidos si conservan el control de las armas.

Esta cúpula necesitará la imagen de un líder para mantener el control del régimen, basado en el culto a la personalidad. Por eso, los expertos coinciden en que probablemente gobernará un grupo de generales con uno de los hijos simbólicamente a la cabeza.

Las armas también influyen en el rol de las potencias externas. Los analistas están de acuerdo en que una intervención armada es poco probable, en gran medida por el posible arsenal nuclear norcoreano. “Si la situación se desestabiliza, una o más potencias querrán involucrarse, pero Corea del Norte no es un blanco fácil: no sabemos cuántas armas de destrucción masiva tiene, quién las controlará y si están dispuestos a usarlas”, dice Leonid Petrov, desde Seúl.

La incertidumbre en la sucesión de Kim Jong Il hace pensar en un posible colapso del sistema. “Uno de los problemas de concentrar tanto poder en un solo individuo es el caos que puede resultar de la muerte de esa persona”, apunta Denny Roy. Sin embargo, esto será evitado a toda costa por los vecinos. “Un colapso del régimen no es del interés de China por sus fuertes lazos económicos con Corea del Norte y porque miles de refugiados cruzarían la frontera, provocando un desastre humanitario”, asegura Petrov.

A Corea del Sur tampoco le conviene. “Quieren mantener la estabilidad porque no hay una estrategia clara en caso de un colapso y no están preparados para recibir a 20 millones de norcoreanos”, afirma Choong Nam Kim. Pero los analistas aseguran que un régimen como el de Kim no puede durar mucho tiempo más. Dominic Ziegler sostiene que “los coreanos han estado separados sólo seis décadas de una historia milenaria; tienen lazos muy fuertes. Entonces la reunificación tendrá desafíos, pero seguramente habrá una Corea unida en el futuro”.