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Friday 22 August 2014

North Korea's Kim Jong-un's nephew 'under protection' at French university

His father was exiled after trying to visit Disneyland Japan

Published 19/12/2013 | 13:06

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North Koreans pay their respects in front of statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, on the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in this photo distributed by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) December 17, 2013. North Korea's political and military elite publicly pledged their loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, less than a week after he ordered the execution of a powerful family ally in a rare public purge.The young leader was the centre of attention at a large memorial in Pyongyang staged to mark the second anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY) 

ATTENTION EDITORS -  THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA
North Koreans pay their respects in front of statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang.
Dictator Kim Jong Un pictured with his wife Ri Sol-ju. The petite former singer has not been seen in public for at least 48 days.
Dictator Kim Jong Un pictured with his wife Ri Sol-ju. The petite former singer has not been seen in public for at least 48 days.

Kim Jong-un’s nephew is reportedly under police protection on a French university campus, amid concerns for the North Korean regime’s stability.

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Kim Han-sol, who is studying at the prestigious university Sciences-Po, was spotted by South Korean journalists earlier this week on the Le Havre campus accompanied by police.

He is the son of the North Korean leader’s half-brother Kim Jong-Nam, who was exiled from the regime in 2001 after attempting to visit Disneyland in Japan with a fake passport.

South Korean media reported that the teenager was chaperoned to his dormitory by French police officers who banned reporters from taking pictures, while other officers patrolled the campus. He has recently asked for his name to be removed from his campus mail box as part of an attempt to avoid the media glare, the South China Morning Post reported.

Kim Han-sol is currently in his first year of study on the university’s Europe-Asian Programme. Though taught in English, students must also learn French and one other Asian language, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi or Indonesian. The teenager has also studied in Macau and Bosnia.

It has been speculated that Kim Han-sol’s willingness to criticize his uncle’s regime is why French police are protecting him. During a 2012 interview with Finnish television, the 18-year-old reportedly referred to the North Korean leader as a “dictator".

Last Thursday North Korea announced it had executed Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek, as part of a purge of traitors, branding him “a despicable political careerist and trickster” and “worse than a dog.” Five of the seven officials who walked alongside former leader Kim Jong-il’s hearse in 2011 have also been purged, or sent to labour camps.

A spokesperson for Sciences Po was unavailable for comment.

 

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