The son of Kim Jong-nam, the slain half-brother of North Korea’s dictatorial ruler, has appeared to surface for the first time since his father’s death, The New York Times reported.
In a YouTube clip published on March 7, Kim Han-sol identified himself as Kim Jong-nam’s 21-year-old son. In the video, he said he and his family are now living in an undisclosed location out of fear for their safety.
“We hope this gets better soon,” the man said at the end of the 40-second video, after showing what appeared to be a North Korean passport.
Do Hee-youn, head of the Citizens’ Coalition for the Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, which is based in Seoul, told the Times that the man was Han-sol.
Kim Jong-nam, who fell out of favour with the North Korean ruling family after getting caught entering Japan for a trip to Disneyland on a fake passport in 2001, was poisoned, authorities say, with a lethal nerve agent at a Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13. The killing has led to a diplomatic fallout between Malaysia and North Korea, as North Korea’s state-run media lashed out at Malaysia’s government for performing an autopsy and accused Malaysian police of trying to “politicize the transfer of the body.”
After Malaysian authorities identified North Korean officials as suspects alongside those thought to be hired as assassins, Malaysia expelled North Korea’s ambassador from the country, which was one of the few in the world to have a visa-free system with North Korea. North Korea retailated by barring Malaysians currently in the country from leaving.
Kim Han-sol is one of six children Kim Jong-nam fathered with several different women. He was reportedly placed under increased police protection while studying at an elite university in France in 2013.