Friday 19 December 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

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.
North Koreans offer flowers to bronze statues of North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung and late leader Kim Jong Il (R) at Mansudae in Pyongyang.
Thursday, December 13
TV monitors displayed at Yongsan electronic market show the news of Jang Song-Thaek's excution in Seoul, South Korea.
A live TV news programme showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek, second from right, escorted by military officers during a trial in Pyongyang, North Korea
Kim Jong Un seen with his uncle Jang Song Thaek, second left
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.

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.

 

Independent News Service

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