The eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is expected not to attend his father’s funeral in Pyongyang on Wednesday, to avoid being seen as having ambitions for the country’s leadership.
Kim Jong Nam had been seen as his father’s likely successor, but he reportedly fell out of favor 10 years ago when he was caught trying to enter Japan with a fake passport. He is now believed to be based in Beijing and Macau.
There have been no reports as of Tuesday that Kim Jong Nam has flown out China for North Korea since his father’s death was announced on Monday last week.
Diplomatic sources in Beijing say there has been no confirmation that Kim Jong Nam has returned home since his younger brother, Kim Jong Un, made a public appearance as the elder Kim’s heir apparent in September 2009.
Observers are divided over Kim Jong Nam’s role under the leadership of Kim Jong Un. Some point to animosity between the brothers, while others say he would make use of his strong ties with the Chinese government to help rebuild North Korea’s economy. ( NHK)