A western source familiar with North Korea asserted today that Kim Jong Eun, third son and heir apparent of Kim Jong Il, was actually elected to the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly as delegate for the 216th District on March 8th last year, but that his election has been kept secret by the authorities.
The source claimed, “I confirmed Kim Jong Eun’s election to the 216th District through a North Korean official,” adding, “The reason for the omission of Kim Jong Eun’s name from the election list was because North Korea wanted to conceal the fact.”
North Korea’s state media reported on March 9th that the elected SPA delegate for the 216th District was one “Kim Jong”.
The name attracted a measure of suspicion at the time, especially with the 216th district bearing a superficial importance due to Kim Jong Il’s birthday being February 16th, but most experts dismissed the suggestion.
However, in mid-April of 2009 North Korea Intellectuals Society (NKIS) reported the same claim, saying, “Kim Jong Eun is rumored to have been elected to the SPA in the 216th district in Haeju, South Hwanghae,” and quoting a junior party official from Yangkang Province Forestry Management Office who had recently attended a provincial Party officials’ meeting.
Whilst unable to confirm or deny the claim, upon hearing the claim a Ministry of Unification official in Seoul cautioned, “North Korean inside news, especially that about personnel appointments or elections, is hard to confirm unless there is an official report.”
However, he conceded, “There has been this assumption since that time.”