By Kim Ji-soo
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s two younger sons ― Kim Jong-chul, 29, and the heir Kim Jong-un ― reportedly 28 ― both have children, Japanese TV Asahi has reported.
The news is the latest in the barrage of information or rumors about the third-generation in the isolated regime’s royal family.
Earlier this week, both South Korean and Japanese media released photos of the second son, Jong-chul, at an Eric Clapton concert on Valentine’s Day. He was accompanied by a young woman who was speculated to be either his wife, or his younger sister, Yo-jong, 24.
Jong-chul’s child was born last August, while Jong-un’s child was born sometime between fall and winter last year, a TV Asahi report said.
There was no mention of who the mothers were or whether the children were male or female. The speculation was that the ailing Kim Jong-il, 69, was pushing for his children to create offspring as he looks to secure a power transfer to his heir and youngest son, Jong-un, 28.
More details are emerging about the third-generation of North Korea’s royal family since Jong-un assumed senior official posts at a rare meeting of the Workers’ Party last September in Pyongyang.
Jong-chul, Jong-un and Yo-jong were born to Japanese born-dancer Ko Young-hee, the second wife to the North Korea leader.
Kim Jong-il’s eldest son, Jong-nam, who mainly resides in China, was born to Sung Hye-rim, a North Korean cinema star of the 1960s. He has been excluded from the succession process ever since his attempt to enter Japan in 2001 using a fake passport.
지난해 북 김정철, 정은 아이 태어났다: 아사히
북한 김정일 국방위원장의 차남 김정철(29)과 후계자로 부각된 삼남 김정은 (28.당 중앙군사위 부위원장)에게 아이가 있다고 일본의 TV 아사히가 보도했다.
이같은 뉴스는 북한 정권 제3세대 일가에 대한 각종 소식 중 가장 최근에 흘러나온 것이다.
이번주 초 한국과 일본의 언론매체는 김정일의 차남 김정철이 발렌타인데이를 맞아 에릭 클립턴의 공연을 관람하는 사진을 공개한바 있다. 이때 정철은 그의 부인 또는 동생으로 추정되는 젊은 여성과 동행했었다.
김정철의 아이는 지난해 8월에 태어났고, 김정은의 아이도 가을과 겨울 사이에 태어났다고 이 보도는 전했다.