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KIM JONG-UN

Kim Jong-un’s nephew ‘under guard’ in France

The nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly been placed under police guard in France, where he is currently studying, amid fears he may be targeted by the regime. He has previously slated his uncle in TV interviews.

Kim Jong-un's nephew 'under guard' in France
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (left) and his nephew Kim Han-sol (right) who is studying in France. Photos: AFP/ Processedturkey_youtube

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.

Here is the second part of that interview.

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NORTH KOREA

North Korean student feared kidnapped in Paris

Paris prosecutors are investigating the disappearance of a North Korean student linked to political rivals of dictator Kim Jong-un, a judicial source said Friday.

North Korean student feared kidnapped in Paris
Paris prosecutors are investigating the disappearance of a North Korean student linked to political rivals of leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: AFP

There are fears the student, identified only as Han, may have been forcibly taken back to North Korea to be executed.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed source on Wednesday claiming Han was picked up by North Korean agents in Paris, but had dramatically escaped while being taken to the airport.

But he has not been seen since, and his escape could not be confirmed.

Han is the son of an aide to Jang Song-thaek, Kim's uncle who once considered the number two in the regime but who was executed in December on treason charges.

Han's father is also known to have been purged recently, Yonhap reported, as part of the Kim regime's continued work to clear the remnants of the Jang era.

"I asked other students and faculty members about Han's whereabouts but nobody has seen him at least 15 days," a senior official at Han's school told Yonhap.

Han and nine other North Koreans have been studying at a prestigious architecture college in Paris since 2011 after being offered places by the French government.

Le Parisien newspaper reported on Friday that the other nine had also disappeared at the same time as Han, but had since reappeared.

Le Parisien reported that France has discreetly been allowing North Korean students to come to France to study architecture since 2002.

A teacher at the school told Le Parisien that North Korean students were closely watched.

"There was often a suited Asian man who came to classes," said the teacher, who was not named.

"One time, a representative of the North Korean delegation in Paris wanted to resit the exams in the place of a student who had failed the year."

That student was "never seen again," the teacher added.

Last year The Local reported how Kim Jong-un's nephew, who was also studying in France, had been placed under guard over fears the regime would target him.

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