News

Book Explores Kim Jong-un’s Feelings About His Mother, and Other Family Tales

SEOUL, South Korea — The bloody purges by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, of his country’s elites and the execution of his uncle were driven in part by his feelings about his mother, whose background is a tightly guarded secret in the country, according to a new book by a senior diplomat who defected.

The author, Thae Yong-ho, recounts in the book that Mr. Kim’s mother, Ko Young-hee, was born in Japan — something that was considered a serious shortcoming by North Korea’s ruling elites. Her marriage to Mr. Kim’s father was never endorsed by his paternal grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the nation’s founder.

Mr. Thae writes that since childhood, Kim Jong-un appeared to have blamed the uncle he had executed in 2013, Jang Song-thaek, for preventing Ms. Ko from befriending his paternal grandfather.

Book Explores Kim Jong-un’s Feelings About His Mother, and Other Family Tales
Book Explores Kim Jong-un’s Feelings About His Mother, and Other Family Tales

The 542-page book, titled “Cryptography From the Third-Flood Secretariat,” recounts Mr. Thae’s life as a North Korean diplomat before he fled to South Korea in 2016, becoming one of the highest-profile defectors from the North in years. He does not spare criticism of the secretive Kim family, which has ruled North Korea since its founding in the late 1940s.

Similar Posts