March 22, 2012 12:13
Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, has repeatedly said that even his father was unable to gain complete control over the North's powerful military. Kim Jong-nam, who was passed over as his father's successor, exchanged some 150 e-mails with Japanese journalist Yoji Komi.
"North Korea experts say this can't be true, but Kim Jong-nam told me that whenever he had the chance," Komi told reporters Wednesday.
Komi said a key example was the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2011. He said the regime had just agreed to develop special economic zones in Rajin-Sonbong and Hwanggumpyong Island and really needed international investment, but the military insisted on the counterproductive attack.
Kim Jong-nam said even his uncle Jang Song-taek (62), who is often described as a kind of eminence grise of the regime, was unable to rein in the military. "That's why the Yeonpyeong Island incident happened," Komi quoted Kim Jong-nam as saying.
Komi said Kim Jong-un told him that the military had become a kind of state within the state and reports to no one.
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