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article imageKim Jung iI's elder playboy son secretly visits father's grave

By Joan Firstenberg     Jan 1, 2012 in World
Pyongyang - Kim-Jong-Nam, half-brother to North Korea's new supreme commander, Kim Jong-Un avoided his father's elaborate funeral, instead making a secret visit using a false passport to pay his respects. Kim Jong-Nam, 40, lives in the Chinese territory of Macau.
The half-brothers stood together at their father's body to pay their respects. There is speculation that Kim Jong-Nam did not attend his father's state funeral in order to avoid any talk about why he himself, rather than the third son, was not appointed as the new ruler. The Daily Mail reports that it is not known whether there is animosity between the two. In 2009 rumors spread that people around Jong-Un were trying to kill his older half-brother in Macau.
South Korean news agency, Yonhap reported that just last week Jong-Nam was placed under Chinese protection on speculation that there might be another assassination attempt against him to quell the playboy rumors that were circulating around him. Jong-Nam has repeatedly dismissed any talk of a death plot against him, calling them 'a farce'.
The Japanese daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, reports that Jong-Nam, after learning of his father's death, made immediate plans to fly to Pyongyang from Macau. In order not to draw attention to the visit, he used a passport under the false name of Kim Choi and made sure the plane would not stop in Beijing, which would have drawn made the news. The Telegraph reports that he stayed for a few days, then returned to Macau,
Kim Jong-Nam is the late Kim Jon-il's eldest son. Between 1998 to 2001, he was widely expected to be the heir-apparent to his father and the next leader of North Korea. In 1998 Kim Jong-nam was appointed to a senior spot in the Ministry of Public Security, the DPRK security apparatus, an indication that he was being groomed as a future leader. But after a publicized mishandled attempt to secretly enter Japan using a fake passport and visit Disneyland in May 2001, he's believed to have fallen out of favor with his father. Kim Jong-Nam removed himself in 2009 from North Korea's succession race, saying he was not interested in politics.
In addition, people in Pyongyang were not happy about reports that he was spending most of his time playing roulette in Macau's casinos. And as KIm Jong-iI's health deteriorated, he decided to appoint his youngest son from another marriage to continue the dynasty. Jon-Nam has lived abroad for many years.
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