Lifestyle & Belief

Think before you Facebook, Kim Jong Il


North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il looks out of a car window after meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Aug. 24, 2011.


Dmitry Astakhov

Years from now, it may be considered the eyes of the soul.

But in the meantime, we'll have to make do with Facebook simply giving us a glimpse of Kim Jong Il's dysfunctional reign in North Korea.

Over the weekend, South Korean media caught wind of Kim Jong Nam's Facebook page. Jong-nam is Kim Jong Il's eldest son, who has been living in exile in China for the last decade.

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On a Facebook page belonging to one "Kim Chol" — which is the pseudonym Jong Nam has repeatedy used for hotel reservations around Asia — the North Korean leader's eldest son "expresses bitterness at being passed over as successor to the North Korean throne and posts insults of his half brother Jong Un," according to the Chosun Ibo.

Jong Nam isn't on the best of terms with Kim Jong Il, or his half-brother Kim Jong Un, who appears to be their father's heir apparent.

He is reportedly not Facebook friends with either one — though it is unclear whether they were at one point Facebook friends and have since been un-friended.

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According to the report, Jong-nam's fall from grace was a long time in the making:

He was first in line to succeed his father and told children of high-ranking officials in the North in the late 1990s that he would implement reforms if he succeeded his father. This comment apparently became a problem when Kim senior got wind of it. But that was not the end of Jong-nam's blunders. In 2001 he was caught trying to enter Japan on a forged Dominican passport to visit Disneyland Tokyo. This put him out of favor with his father, and he has since been living in virtual exile in Beijing and Macau.

The Chosun Ibo also has some great details on Kim Han-sol, who is Jong-nam's son and is about to enter a boarding school in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

[Han-sol] appears in eight photos with bleached-blond hair and wearing earrings and necklaces. Many of the contacts listed on Han-sol's Facebook page are alumni from the School of the Nations international school he attended in Macau.

Han-sol displays a definition of democracy apparently lifted from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on the page and conducted a survey among his Facebook contacts asking them whether they support Communism or Democracy, saying he prefers the latter.

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