Saturday, October 20, 2012

KOREAN POLITICS: Elisabeth Rehn Interviews North Korea's Almost Heir Apparent Kim Hansol

Elisabeth Rehn, a former UN Under-Secretary-General, former member of Parliament of the Finnish People's Party, and the first female Minister of Defense in Finland, interviewed Kim Hansol (or Kim Han Sol), the grandson of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (or Kim Jong Il). His father, Kim Jongnam (or Kim Jong Nam), is the first son of Kim Jong-il, and his mother Song Hye-rim was Kim Jong-il's first mistress before he got officially married to Kim Youngsook.

Kim Jongnam used to be known as the heir apparent to his father Kim Jong-il and the next leader of North Korea but was sent into exile when his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un became the heir apparent in September 2010. Kim Jong-un's mother was the second mistress of Kim Jong-il and the de facto First Lady of North Korea until her death. Kim Jongnam's whereabouts has been unknown since January 2012, right after Kim Jong-un became the nation's supreme leader when their father died on December 17, 2011.  Some think he's in hiding while others think he may have been assassinated.

In this interview, Kim Hansol said he had never met his grandfather Kim Jong-il and hoped to go back to North Korea and work for world peace someday. He currently goes to the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Hertzegovina. While watching his interview, I couldn't help but wonder in my own mind what if his father Kim Jongnam had remained the heir apparent to assume office in 2011. And also I wondered what had brought this young man in front of camera, i.e., to the world.  So... what's your thoughts?

The actual interview starts at about 1:40.


  1. 이번 인터뷰로 인해 해코지 안 당하고 잘 지낼 수 있다면 후에 좋은 통일을 이루는 리더가 될 수도 있겠다는 생각이...^^

    참 좋은 링크 올려 주셔서 감솨!

  2. This interview is now worlwide known!
    Perhaps living with a pro-insurgent Libyan in Mostar during the Arab revolutions is a part of explanation why he came in front of cameras?

    Thank you for your very nice blog I have found out today!
    Is it possible to contact you by e-mail?

    Thank you,


  3. Oldman님, 한국분이신 줄 몰랐습니다. 반갑구요... 그냥 제 생각인데 혹시나 신변의 위협을 느껴서 오히려 더 카메라 앞에 나선 건 아닐까 하는....

  4. Charles, thanks a lot for your compliment! And it's just my guess but Hansol might have chosen to expose himself to the world, ironically, for his own safety? BTW, you can always DM me and here's my twitter address: Onsemiro Twitter

  5. 그런 생각까진 안해봤는데 그럴수도 있겠다는... 젊은 분 이신 것 같은데 insight이 예사롭지 않군요.

  6. 그냥 그럴 수도 있지 않을까 생각한 걸 뿐, insight라고 까지 하시니.... 아무튼 감사합니다. :)

  7. Hi! Is there any other available copy of the part 2 of this interview?


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