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Kim Jong-un's nephew 'under guard' in France

Ben McPartland · 18 Dec 2013, 10:05

Published: 18 Dec 2013 10:05 GMT+01:00

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Concerns were raised after Kim-Jong-un’s uncle, believed to be the second most powerful man in the North Korean regime, was executed earlier this month along with several of his allies.

There are now fears that other members of the family could also be purged and French police are taking no chances with Kim Jong-un’s nephew.

Kim Han-sol, is currently in his first year degree at the prestigious Sciences-Po college, at its centre in Le Havre, northern France.

According to South Korean media Kim Han-sol returned to his dormitory at his student halls of residence accompanied by French police officers, who warned photographers not to take pictures.

Additional police have been drafted in to patrol the campus, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

Kim Han-sol is the son of the disgraced Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son and original successor to the former dictator Kim Jong-il.

However Kim Jong-nam was unceremoniously removed from the line of succession because of his party antics and in particular his deportation from Japan in 2001 after reportedly entering the country using a fake Dominican Republic passport before being arrested during a visit to Disneyland.

Kim Han-sol’s willingness in the past to publicly criticize the North Korea’s regime, may be the reason why French police are particularly cautious.

According to l’Express, during an interview on Finnish television in 2012, Kim Han-sol criticized North Korea's Pyongyang regime, saying he felt sorry for his compatriots being ruled by a “dictator” – his uncle.

His outspoken nature and modern views might well come from his time spent living in Macao in China,  as well as his former studies at an international school in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Here is the first part of that interview with Finnish TV.

Story continues below…

Here is the second part of that interview.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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