First member of North Korea’s ruling dynasty to set foot in the South

Photo released by North Korean State Media shows Kim Jong Un’s sister at a table with other high-ranking government officials.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (second from R) shakes hands with Kim Yo-jong, a sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in the city located some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 9, 2018. Kim arrived in South Korea earlier in the day as part of a 22-member delegation led by the North’s ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam (L). (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in briefly encountered North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister on Friday at the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

Moon and Kim Yo-jung shook hands at their first-ever encounter during the ceremony. Kim arrived in the country earlier Friday as part of a delegation led by the North’s ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam.

She is the only member of the North’s ruling family to have ever visited South Korea.

The North Korean delegates are scheduled to attend a lunch meeting hosted by Moon on Saturday.

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) — Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, is set to become the first member of North Korea’s ruling dynasty to set foot in the rival South this week.

The Unification Ministry in Seoul announced Wednesday that Kim Yo-jong, presumed to be aged about 30, will be part of a high-ranking government delegation attending the Winter Olympic opening ceremony slated for Friday.

The team will be led by Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state. Kim Yo-jong is widely believed to be powerful and close enough to the leader to directly represent his views.

Kim’s visit could further boost the reconciliatory mood between the Koreas. Seoul wants to pave the way for the restoration of relations and possibly to talks for the denuclearization of the North.

Kim’s high status in the North Korean leadership and close blood tie with the leader raised expectations that she may serve as the reclusive brother’s representative to the South Korean government.

Kim Yo-jong is Kim Jong-un’s only sibling who is part of the North Korean leadership. Kim Jong-chol, the leader’s older brother, went out of the public eye after his younger brother took over the leadership. Kim Jong-nam, the leader’s half brother, was assassinated by apparent North Korean agents at Kuala Lumpur international airport in Malaysia last year.

Eric Clapton Super Fan? Who is Kim Jong Chol?

Unlike her ill-fated brothers, Yo-jong climbed the North Korean regime’s power ladder at an unprecedented speed.

Assassination of Kim Jong Nam Trial: What We Know So Far

She reportedly joined the Kim Jong-un regime in its initial stage, in 2012, before taking up a deputy director post in the Workers’ Party of Korea’s central committee about two years later. Ever since, Yo-jong has frequently been seen standing close to her brother at major state events, an indication of her closeness with him and the regime.

The Unification Ministry currently presumes that she is also serving as deputy chief of the all-important ruling party propaganda and agitation department.

Experts here said that having started early in her 20’s, Yo-jong’s role inside the current North Korea regime has already far exceeded what Kim Kyong-hui, once-powerful sister of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, did for her brother’s regime in the past.

She is also known to have spent two years together with the leader studying in Switzerland in the 1990s.

Such a special profile is expected to make Yo-jong the mouth and ears of Kim Jong-un when she meets with South Korean officials, especially at a time when Seoul is desperately handling the difficult task of broker talks between the North and the United States for denuclearization.

Assassination of Kim Han Sol, Son of Kim Jong Nam: Plot Foiled

According to Korea Joongang Daily (JoongAng Ilbo), China has arrested would-be assassins of Kim Han Sol, the 22 year old son of recently assassinated Kim Jong Nam. Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, was assassinated on February 13, 2017 in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airport through the use of a VX nerve agent, considered to be a weapon of mass destruction. Kim Han Sol is the nephew of Kim Jong Un.

For current updates on the assassination trial of Kim Jong Nam, see

Assassination of Kim Jong Nam Trial: What We Know So Far

According to the the South Korean daily, seven North Korean spies were secretly dispatched to China on a mission to kill Kim Han Sol. Chinese authorities have two of these spies in custody and is questioning them in Beijing. The anonymous source said that North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau recently sent the team to Beijing — apparently without China’s knowledge — to search for the 22-year-old nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and kill him. Officials from China’s Ministry of State Security apprehended two of the spies, but the whereabouts of the other five suspects are not currently known.

Kim Han Sol is the son of Ri Hye Kyong and the now deceased Kim Jong Nam. They also have a younger daughter. The family had been living in Macau until the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, when the family went into hiding.

Kim Han Sol made a statement in March 2017 in a YouTube Video uploaded by a group named Cheollima Civil Defense.

In a statement on the Cheollima Civil Defense website the organization said the following:

“Cheollima Civil Defense responded last month to an emergency request by survivors of the family of Kim Jong Nam for extraction and protection. The three family members were met quickly and relocated to safety. We have in the past addressed other urgent needs for protection. This will be the first and last statement on this particular matter, and the present whereabouts of this family will not be addressed.

We publicly express our gratitude for the emergency humanitarian assistance afforded to us in protecting this family by the governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, the United States of America, and a fourth government to remain unnamed. We also recognize our colleagues who remain in the North or within its system who provide critical assistance in extracting such individuals.

In particular, we recognize Ambassador A.J.A. Embrechts, representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, for his timely and strong response to our sudden request for assistance. Ambassador Embrechts is a credit to the people of the Netherlands and their long and principled stance for human rights and humanitarian norms.

We regret that several nations refused assistance to this family in this particular apolitical, humanitarian emergency. We, and those we aid, recognize with gratitude all who stand with us on the right side of history.”

천리마민방위 | Cheollima Civil Defense

Assassination of Kim Jong Nam Trial: What We Know So Far

The Kim Jong Nam murder trial began on October 2, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is currently in recess until November 6, 2017. Here’s what we know so far:

Kim Jong Nam was the older half-brother of North Korea Kim Jong Un. They shared the same father.

Kim Jong Nam was assassinated on February 13, 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia. His assassination was caught on surveillance cameras.

In the video, Kim Jong Nam is approached from behind by a woman who smears something onto his face, particularly in the area of his eyes. A second woman then repeats the process. The women each go to separate restrooms and wash their hands and then leave the airport without incident.

Kim Jong Nam gestures for help from airport security and is escorted to a medical area of the airport. He is medically distressed and is transported to a hospital but pronounced dead at the hospital. (Initial reports said he was dead within 20 minutes, but the trial account says it was approximately 2 hours before death occurred.)

The chemicals are later determined to be a VX nerve agent classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

The women are identified via video surveillance and are arrested within a few days of the incident. They claim they thought they were part of a prank for a reality TV show and did not know the chemicals were lethal. Both women claimed they were directed by four men known only by nicknames.

The women have been charged with murder and face death by hanging if it convicted.

This combination of file handout pictures released by the Royal Malaysian Police in Kuala Lumpur shows suspects Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, left, and Siti Ashyah of Indonesia, right, who were detained in connection to the Feb. 13, 2017, assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (AFP/Getty Images)

The women face death by hanging if convicted.


The accused are Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong, 29.

Murder occurred at 9 am while Nam waited near the check-in counter in the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He was travelling alone.

Nam was carrying a passport that said his name was Kim Jong Chol, which is the name of Kim Jong Un’s younger brother.

See More about Kim Jong Chol, Eric Clapton Super Fan at: 

The North Korean government requested that no autopsy be performed on the body. The attorney general’s office in Kuala Lumpur overruled the request and the autopsy was performed on February 15. No next of kin was available to identify the body and North Korea officially denied the dead man was Kim Jong Nam, insisting instead it was actually the Kim Jong Chol identified by the passport. Through a secret process, DNA was obtained from Kim Jong Nam’s son and the body was confirmed to be that of Kim Jong Nam. (Kim Jong Nam’s family is now in hiding.)

The autopsy confirmed acute VX nerve agent poisoning. Nam’s body was released to the North Korean embassy under pressure. Malaysian and North Korean relations are now very tense.

The trial was briefly moved to a lab to safely view VX stained clothing belonging to both the victim and the suspects.

Next, video footage showed Kim Jong Nam after the attack in distress, escorted to an onsite medical clinic, walking first and then staggering, and on a stretcher being wheeled to an ambulance.

Video also showed the two suspects fleeing the scene after washing their hands.

It was revealed that Kim Jong Nam had $100,000 in cash on him when he died.

Each woman’s lawyer was hired by her own country and blame NK for the attack, insisting women are just dupes.

Police revealed that Huong had done a practice “prank” at the airport two days before.

About two weeks into the trial, the issue of the mystery men who are suspected of directing the two women began to unfold.

The men have only been named in court by the pseudonyms they gave to the women:

Mr.Y, seen walking with Doan into the airport and also seen pouring liquid into Doan’s hands.

Mr. Chang, seen with Siti Aisyah at a restaurant and also seen pouring liquid into her hands.

Hanamori, also known as Grandpa/Uncle, suspected of giving orders to Mr. Y and the apparent ringleader of the operation.

James who is suspected of recruiting Siti Aisyah.

(Although it has not yet been discussed in the trial, Interpol issued an international red warrant for Ri Ji Hyon, Hong Song Hac, O Joong Gil and Ri Jae Nam. These four are charged in the crime as well, a charge called “Common Intention,” but are considered to be “still at large.”)

On October 24, the trial moved to the scene of the crime. The overwrought suspects were transferred to wheelchairs and one was crying. They had to wear bullet proof vests and handcuffs.

A North Korea scientist named Ri Jong Chol has not been charged although he did own a car that took two of the men to the airport on the day of the crime. Due to “insufficient evidence” he was deported back to NK.

It was revealed Nam had a total of 4 passports all bearing the name  of Kim Chol.

The four wanted men all left Malaysia by air on the same day as the murder and video shows attempts to make changes to their appearances after visits to the restroom.

The trial resumes on November 6, 2017.

Eric Clapton Super Fan? Who is Kim Jong Chol?

2015 photo taken at Eric Clapton Concert courtesy Yonhap News Agency

Mystery surrounds the older brother of Kim Jong Un. Few, if any, facts are known, other than the fact that he loves Eric Clapton. He was reportedly spotted in public only a very few times, and each of these times involved an Eric Clapton concert.

In 2006, Kim Jong Chol (sometimes referred to as Kim Jong Chul) purportedly attended several Clapton shows in Germany. Next, five years later, in 2011, Kim Jong Chol was spotted in Singapore at a show.

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.

Then, in 2015, a camera crew caught him on film attending Eric Clapton’s show at Albert Royal Hall, apparently going two nights in a row. The slim, handsome man was wearing a slick leather jacket and dark shades.

Wikileaks cables dated 2007 reveal the following tidbits of information on Clapton’s biggest fan:

Quoting Dr. Stephen Linton, Chairman of the Eugene Bell Foundation, (who) described a recent two-week mission in the DPRK to oversee Eugene Bell medical assistance programs…Linton, who has visited the DPRK regularly for nearly thirty years… the cable reads:

Arranging an Eric Clapton concert in Pyongyang could also be useful, he said, given Kim Jong-il’s second son’s devotion to the rock legend. END SUMMARY.

And again, a request that Eric Clapton come to Pyongyang…


9. (C) Linton passed on the suggestion from his North Korean interlocutors that the USG arrange for Eric Clapton to perform a concert in Pyongyang. As Kim Jong-il’s second son, Kim Jong-chol, is reported to be a great fan, the performance could be an opportunity to build good will. 


The Family Tree. The recently assassinated older brother, Kim Jong Nam, had a different mother.

Courtesy Korea Joongang Daily.

As to other factual information about Kim Jong Chol, there is very little. He and Kim Jong Un have the same mother, and Kim Jong Chol was born in 1981, studying in Switzerland as a young man.

Kim Jong Chol is said to have fallen out of favor as the leader of DPRK because he is, according to some, girlish and soft-hearted. The Hankook Ilbo newspaper out of Seoul, South Korea reports it this way: he was “suffering symptoms of hypersecretion of female hormones.” (No official source was quoted.)

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.


North Korea: The Death of Kim Jong-nam

PHOTO: Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated in Malaysia, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on February 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURATOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

It’s a murder plot out of a spy novel. Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s unpredictable leader, was allegedly poisoned by two women assassins at Kuala Lumpur airport. All signs point to Kim Jong-un, the rogue state’s leader, as behind the murder.

101 East investigates the mysterious case, exploring the highly secretive and paranoid world of North Korea, where those who escape continue to live in fear of its reckless brutality. Given the most recent display of its missile tests, it’s a recklessness the rest of the world needs to heed.

This half-hour film by Mary Ann Jolley explains why Kim Jong-nam was assassinated and why he had likely been a target for a very long time. Also available on YouTube.