Where is the Eric Clapton-obsessed brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong Chul?

Where and why has North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is older half-brother, Kim Jong Chul, disappeared? Given the lingering doubts over the health of Kim Jong Un and his own habit of to disappear for weeks in a row – die question presupposes some urgency.

If 37-year-old Kim Jong-un where to die, Jong Chul, 40, never one active contender for power, would be prime candidate to take over.

“In a succession scenario, his name would certainly be” on the table,” Greg Scarlatoui, executive director of the committee for human rights in North Korea, The Daily Beast told. The Organization and Guidance Department met multiple tentacle (OGD) of the Workers’ Party—of of which Kim Jong Un is chairman – would decide on a successor, leave it to the coterie of generals and top party officers die Kim Jong Un now surround to decide on policy.

the Kim family are divine figures. In North Korea, the most important qualification is to family member.

There would be, Scarlatoui said, “pluses to being a direct descendant” of the Paektu bloodline” – a reference to the Korean Peninsulas highest peak where Kim Jong Il, by North Korean mysticism, was born in 1941 in a log cabin – “and minuses, its apparent ‘weakness’ compared met to be” brother.” That said, he noted: “There has always been a symbiosis between the Workers’ Party and the Kim family regime.”

“Jong Chul has a position of honor in the Organization and Guidance Department, but no reports have ever shown that he contributed to any political action of decision”, Robert Collins, author of An book on the OGD after spending more than 30 years of analysis of North Korea for the American commando in Seoul, told The Daily Beast. “Kim Jong-un clearly tolerates his existence as long as he stays out of the way.

It was only after long-ruling Kim Jong Il was deemed… elder son Jong Chul “too effeminate,” according to Kim’s Japanese sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto, die he called younger brother Jong Un as successor about one year before dying in 2011. Since then it seems like to be Jong Chul head down, playing his guitar with friends in ultra-secret surroundings in Pyongyang while Kim Jong Un unmistakably makes clear that he the boss and heads will roll like anyone gets out of line.

However, the height of Kim Jong Chul “is a very feasible scenario”, chairman Choi Jin-wook of the centre for Strategic and Cultural Studies in Seoul, told The Daily Beast. “The Kim” family are divine figures. In North Korea, the most important qualification is to family member.”

That qualification is so important that in In February 2017, Kim Jong Un ordered the assassination of are 44-year-old eldest brother—and potential rival—Kim Jong Nam. life in banishment in macao, a former Portuguese colony on on the Chinese coast, Jong Nam had aroused Jong Un’s paranoid fears by criticizing the dynastic rule. After he checked in for a flight from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, two young women greased his face with what North Korean agents had told women, one from Vietnam, the other from Indonesia, was water, but was actually a VX chemical nerve agent made up in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Chul, not in seen in public in Pyongyang during Kim Jong Un’s rule, used to be last spotted in May 2015 present at a Eric Clapton Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London. A real Clapton groupie, he had also attended his concerts in Germany in 2006 and in Singapore in 2011. Thae Yong Ho, then Deputy Ambassador to North Korea in The United Kingdom, who defected to South Korea in 2016, has said he personally arranged for the visit, including two nights of Clapton shows and a luxury hotel fee more than $3,000 per night.

Ko Yong Hui, the third wife of partner of Kim Jong Il and mother of Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Chul and younger sister Kim Yo Jong, died of breast cancer in Paris in 2004. The extent to which Jong Un suppresses Jong Chul, him in cover up, guarded and guarded, is not clear, but Thae said he lives peacefully in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Choli remains out of the political spotlight and in the shadows in Pyongyang,” Evans Revere, a former U.S senior diplomat in Seoul, told The Daily Beast. “He is reportedly free to” play his guitars and jams with friends.”

In North Korea, the bloodline is what counts. “Without having one” power, yes, Kim Jong Chul could take the titles. If Jong Chul doesn’t cause any problems, no one will hate him,” Kim Tae-woo said. former president of the Korea Institute for National unification, said in an interview with The everyday beast.

But what about met Kim Yo Jong, the 34-year- old younger sister? Often outspoken, she scores second to Kim Jong Un in factual power. Yo Jong “has played the role of second man,” said Kim Tae-woo, but she’s “already startling in South Korea for her insulting comments” against South Korean President Moon Jae-in for approve military assignments on computers with US troops while watching for dialogue with the North.

Carefully maintained total respect for Kim Jong Un, Yo Jong, in to upload of the publicity and information department of the Workers’ Party, was exalted in September to the real Centre of power, the state affairs Commission. In a male dominated system, but Kim Tae-woo believes her gender matters against her. others in North Korea’s inner circle, he said, would not… want a woman die holds the highest posts in the country.

“Yo Jong’s” danger waiting to happen,” Collins said. “North Korean society tolerates a female leader? Unlikely. That would be the NK elite faster than a billion dollar bribes.”

Revere is not like that though sure. There has never been a “hint” of excessive ambition on her part,” he said. “She is unfailingly reverent to Kim Jong Un in their performances together. They also speaks often out on her own on key policy problems – indicating a high level of confidence and her certainty that she can talk on On behalf of of her brother and the regime.”

In complete on the other hand, it is not known that Kim Jong Chul display any wish to rule something – a record that could make him a carefully harmless choice in internal power struggle die inevitable after the departure of Jong Un from the scene. in An environment in what hundreds of officials have been destroyed on orders of Jong Un and, for him, Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, survival depends on playing it safe.

Kim Jong Un, next to wiping out are older half-brother, ordered the public arrest in Dec 2018 live on state television of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, married met his aunt, Kim Jong Il’s younger sister.

Glasses crooked after beating, Jang was shown by guards in An small courtroom before he was summarily executed. Ever from North Korea second highest leader under Kim Jong Il, he was accused of corruption and many other crimes made the fatal mistake of want to hold real authority in instead of just advising like a humble servant.

Kim Jong-un, who has every top title from president to party chairman to chairman of the state affairs command to commander of the armed forces, has been relentlessly consolidated power even if his health remains a case of concern and speculation. Judging by photos, he’s lost about 20 pounds, down from 140 kilograms, but that is still much too heavy for one who’s just 5 feet 8 inches.

South Korea’s national intelligence agency, aggressive supporting President Moon’s Offer for dialogue and reconciliation with North Korea has issued statements stating that doubts over his health be “unfounded”. The NOS has also rejected speculation that a body double has filled in for it on opportunity and denounced as “not” true not at all”, aimed at a story decorated last month on the front page of the American supermarket tabloid Globe die Kim Yo Jong had taken over from her brother in a coup.

Kim Jong Chul would not be a very effective leader.

But the credibility of the NOS, led by Park Jie-won, accused 20 years ago for to be role in payouts to North Korea to bring about the North-South Summit in June 2000 between the late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong Il, is under discussion. “The Number of the Moon” one objective with met with regard to North Korea from the begin of his presidency,” Bruce Bennett, longtime Korea analyst at the Rand Corporation, told The Daily Beast, “has been to make a condition” of coexist peacefully.”

Kim Jong Un’s “Huge Weight Loss”, Bennett added, ” raises serious questions over the question of the pictures die we see are of one of more of Kim’s double.” In fact, “We disagree” know enough to reject what in other circumstances may be considered ridiculous suggestions. By not being open and with their history of using doubles, there will almost certainly be periodic speculation over problems in the North Korean leadership.”

yet another issue is of Kim Jong Chul, if he became a figurehead, could he? win the respect that past at the titles, however empty, die could happen to him.

“Kim Jong Chul wouldn’t be a very effective leader – he certainly wouldn’t run the Politburo and similar gatherings” way Kim Jong-un does,” says Bennett. “Of course the North can… use An body double of him to maintain his appearance while Kim Yo Jong reigned.”

Kenji Fujimoto, who sated the culinary flavors of the Kim family for year, explained in a memoir why Kim Jong Il eliminated Kim Jong Chul from the succession. The boy, Fujimoto quoted Jong Il, was “like a girl.”

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