Book Details Frank Comments from Kim Jong-il's Eldest Son

Kim Jong-nam Kim Jong-nam

A collection of candid e-mails and interviews with late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's eldest son Jong-nam will be published in Japan on Jan. 20, the Kyodo news agency reported last Friday.

Kim exchanged the e-mails with Yoji Komi, an editor of the Tokyo Shimbun. They began writing to each other after Komi ran into Kim at Beijing Capital International Airport in 2004. The Japanese journalist later interviewed Kim for a total of seven hours in Beijing and Macau last year.

In one e-mail sent after his father's funeral this month, Kim Jong-nam criticizes the third-generation hereditary power succession in the North. Commenting on the leadership under his younger brother Jong-un who became new North Korean leader, he writes, "The existing power group will take over, putting the young successor up as a symbolic figurehead."

Kim Jong-nam describes Kim Jong-il as a "strict and affectionate" father. He claims Kim Jong-il once said, "I won't hand power to my child."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 10, 2012 10:05 KST