The Facebook page of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's exiled eldest son Jong-nam exposes the dysfunctional inner workings of the dynasty. Kim Jong-nam expresses bitterness at being passed over as successor to the North Korean throne and posts insults of his half brother Jong-un, who was anointed heir instead.
When the Facebook pages of "Kim Chol," believed to be Jong-nam, and his son Kim Han-sol (16) were exposed by the South Korean media on Saturday, Jong-nam deleted two of Han-sol's IDs among his 71 Friends, apparently to prevent others from accessing his Facebook page via his son's page.
But "Kim Chol" continues to maintain a link between his Facebook page and another website that contains a poster of the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda" with Kim Jong-un's chubby face pasted on it. "Kim Chol" is the pseudonym Jong-nam uses for hotel reservations in Singapore, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in the region.
Jong-nam also posted digitally altered photos on his Facebook page ridiculing his father and the North Korean elite.
Jong-nam and Jong-un, who have different mothers, were apparently on bad terms even in North Korea. Jong-nam's mother was the North Korean actress Song Hye-rim. Kim Jong-il sent him to a Swiss boarding school in 1980, and while he was abroad, Kim Jong-il had two more children -- Jong-chol and Jong-nam -- with Ko Yong-hui, a dancer who was born in Japan.
Jong-nam 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.
China apparently deems Jong-nam to be useful and told North Korean officials that Beijing intends to protect him as long as he stays on Chinese soil, South Korean intelligence officials say.
Kim Jong-il's sons all appear to be enamored of Western culture and enjoy travel. The North Korean leader's second son Jong-chol was spotted in Singapore in February attending an Eric Clapton concert.
Meanwhile, Han-sol, who is about to enter a boarding school in Bosnia-Herzegovina, has posted several pictures of himself on his Facebook page. He 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.
Han-sol also has a Twitter account and blog. He blocked access to his Facebook and Twitter accounts on Saturday, but two of his Internet IDs, "khsol696" and "kimhs616," were tracked down, offering glimpses of his activities online.