Monday, January 31, 2011

Kim Jong-il's eldest son speaks out against North Korea hardliners

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's eldest son, Kim Jong-nam (39), says North Korea should abandon the "Songun" or military first doctrine, and pursue reforms and open up.

He also commented on the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, referring to the waters surrounding the South Korean island as a "battle zone," and said there are "forces" in the North Korean regime who are trying to use the attack to justify the Songun doctrine and nuclear weapons. 

It is unclear whether his father is part of those "forces," but Kim Jong-nam's comments read like a denunciation of the retrograde hawks taking over key positions within the North Korean regime. 

He urged his half brother Jong-un to handle inter-Korean relations wisely so that tragedies such as the artillery attack on Yeonpyong Island do not happen again. He expressed hope that Kim Jong-un will become a leader respected by his people, adding that he was not trying to challenge or criticize him and that he wished the North could stabilize politically and recover economically.

He said his younger was chosen to succeed his father to "stabilize the framework of the nation." But he warned "Instability in North Korea will lead to instability in the surrounding region." 

Chosun Ilbo

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