In North Korea, looks aren't everything


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (right) and his youngest son Kim Jong Un (left) watch a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, Oct. 10, 2010.


Petar Kujundzic

Don't hate Kim Pyong Il because he's beautiful.

Rather, don't hate him because he looks like his dad. He can't help it.

Kim Pyong Il, Kim Jong Il's half-brother and North Korea's current ambassador to Poland, is reportedly being held under house arrest in Pyongyang.


Because he looks a lot like his father, Kim Il Sung, the North's founding leader.

This is a problem because Kim Jong Un, the son and likely successor of Kim Jong Il, has been in the business of trying to look like Kim Il Sung himself (some even say he's gotten plastic surgery to seal the deal).

It would look bad if someone who wasn't even trying did a better job, wouldn't it?

Kim Pyong Il.

An unnamed source told the Chosun Ibo that:

Anyone who is believed to pose an obstacle to Kim Jong-un's succession, even members of his own family, is subject to elimination.

Hence, the quarantine.

The North generally looks back on the rule of Kim Il Sung with nostalgia, as a time when there was enough food and a higher standard of living.

(Read more: Rare video footage smuggled out of North Korea.)

Kim Pyong Il returned to the North from his diplomatic post in Poland in May to visit his dying mother, according to reports.

Many say he has grown accustomed to life overseas and isn't looking to move back to a militaristic dictatorship where millions of people are starving.