Man who says he’s slain N. Korean’s son says he’s safe
A man claiming to be the son of the slain half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared in a YouTube video Wednesday, saying he is safely with his mother and sister.
Kim Jong Nam was killed by two women who rubbed a nerve agent on his face at an airport in Malaysia on Feb. 13, according to Malaysian police. Kim Jong Un was widely suspected to have ordered his brother’s murder to eliminate a potential challenger to his rule. Subsequently, there have been worries about the safety of Kim Jong Nam’s son Kim Han Sol, who described his uncle Kim Jong Un as a “dictator” during a rare 2012 interview with Finnish television.
“My name is Kim Han Sol from North Korea, part of the Kim family,” the man says in English in the 40-second YouTube clip. “My father has been killed a few days ago. I’m currently with my mother and my sister . ... We hope this gets better soon.”
An official at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said the NIS had determined the man in the video is Kim Han Sol.
The public affairs official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules, didn’t explain how his agency confirmed the man’s identity.
The NIS has a spotty record on reporting developments in North Korea. But a private voice analysis institute in Seoul said there was a “high probability” that Kim Han Sol in the 2012 interview, which can also be found on YouTube, and the man in the latest video clip were the same speaker.
“It’s right to determine they are the same person,” said Lee Cheul-houng, head of the Transcription Analysis Laboratory.
The man in the latest video doesn’t talk about the whereabouts of his family or how they were being protected. The video was posted on the YouTube channel of Cheollima Civil Defense, which describes itself as a group helping North Korean defectors.
The group said on its website that it responded to an “emergency request” last month by three members of Kim Jong Nam’s family and relocated them to safety. The group expressed gratitude to the Netherlands, China, the United States and a “fourth government to remain unnamed” for providing assistance in protecting the three.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it had no knowledge of the Cheollima group.
A man claiming to be the son of the slain half brother of North Korea’s leader is seen in a video saying he is with his mother and sister.