Kim Han Sol Makes Minor Splash

Images of a young man assumed to be the 16-year old son of Kim Jong Nam have surfaced on Facebook, causing a stir in the South Korean media and considerable column inches to be devoted to discussion of his appearance.

The young man, Kim Han Sol, is understood to have enrolled at the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Certainly, a person joined the school’s Facebook page last month in his name, leaving a simple message, “North Korean incoming,” and Bosnian officials have reportedly acknowledged the story, while the name Kim Han Sol does indeed appear on a class list on the school’s website.

The young man in the photos can be said to bear a physical resemblance to Kim Jong Nam, too, but it is more his sense of fashion that has raised eyebrows in South Korea. In one of the photos, Kim wears a pair of rimless glasses, later a rather more extravagant pair of black horn-rimmed ones.

He also appears to be a man of many hairstyles. Green and gold dye are a mainstay, and a skinhead makes a brief appearance.

The photo album also includes several shots taken with friends. An intimate photo taken with a young woman has attracted interest because Kim captioned the photo with a comment, “I’m going to miss you so much.” The woman responded with her own comment saying “I love you too, yeobo” (“yeobo” being the way a Korean husband and wife address each other, though probably out of context given Kim’s youthful age).

However, intriguing though all this is, it is hard to say that it is necessary to publish so much information about Kim, much less his possible girlfriends. As someone who currently plays no role in the North Korean regime, it is not easy to justify in the name of the public interest.

So, while it may instinctively be easy to feel aggrieved at the nature of the young man’s lifestyle when held up against that of most North Korean teenagers, there is no reason to focus unduly on his choice of school or hair color. Time to move on.