Sunday, December 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kim brothers kept out of view

By
From page A6 | January 18, 2013 |

The issue: Or they could live as ordinary citizens on a collective farm

In the Stalinist days of the old Soviet Union, after which North Korea has studiously modeled itself, superseded rivals for leadership abruptly disappeared from public life. Their faces were expunged from Kremlin group photos. Their names were deleted from newspaper and magazine archives and further mention of their names in public was prohibited. They became “nonpersons.”

ACCORDING TO news accounts, that lesson has not been lost on North Korea’s pudgy new dictator, Kim Jong Un, grandson of the belligerent little hermit and nation’s founder, but not originally the first choice to succeed his father, Kim Jong Il. That would have been one of his two elder brothers, Kim Jong Nam, 41, and Kim Jong Chul, 31.

One theory about the transfer of power is that the two older Kims — Jong Un, the youngest, is believed to have turned 30 this week — were believed by party elders to be too frivolous for the top job. Jong Nam was caught trying to sneak into Japan on a fake passport to visit Disneyland; Jong Chul was said to be effeminate and more interested in video games than politics.

Now a conscientious effort is being made to wipe all traces of the two older Kims from public life lest any nascent opposition be tempted to coalesce behind one of them. Pyongyang’s propaganda apparatus is aggressively transforming Jong Un into an only child, according to The Washington Post, “his inheritance predetermined and uncontested.”

In the 17th century when the sultan died his heir apparent immediately dispatched emissaries to murder the male children — and potential rivals — of the old sultan’s numerous wives and concubines. In more civilized times, the possible rivals were confined to a life of enforced idle luxury in a so-called “golden cage” in the harem.

ONE SUSPECTS that something similar may have happened to the two Kims. An emissary from their little brother appeared on their doorsteps with an offer such as this:

“You can live in luxury, eat and drink imported food and liquors; drive imported cars; go gambling in China; play unlimited video games; watch banned Western movies and TV, but you must do so anonymously and never be mentioned by name in the news. And don’t call yourselves ‘Kim.’

“Or you can live life as an ordinary North Korean on a collective farm.

“We thought so. Here are copies of the latest ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed.’ Enjoy. Don’t call us. We won’t be calling you.”

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Brinley Plaque honors environmental stalwart

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    What’s new at UCD? Construction projects abound

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    No-nonsense Musser voted Citizen of the Year

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Sharing a meal, and so much more

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Downtown crash results in DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    March trial date set in Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    AP sources: Cops’ killer angry over Garner death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Raul Castro: Don’t expect detente to change Cuban system

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Police seek help in finding runaway twin girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donors, volunteers honored on Philanthropy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Enterprise plans Christmas, New Year’s holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Surprise honor is really nice, dude

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    It’s not a pretty picture

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
    Google me this: Should I hit that button?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B4

     
    E-cigs surpass regular cigarettes among teens

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Too late to pick a fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    All police need to humanize

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Are we only a fair-weather bike city?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Join us in making our world more just

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    The electronic equivalent of war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    The Green House effect: Homes where the elderly thrive

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    UCD women look to improve, despite game at No. 7 Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Second-half run spurs Aggie men to 8-1

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Stenz shines as DHS girls take a tournament title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie Manzanares not quite finished carrying the rock

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers fall to San Diego in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone Bio expands its product reach in Latin America

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sierra Northern Railway names CEO

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sink your teeth into Vampire Penguin

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8