Kim’s grandson looked for friends

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Kim’s grandson looked for friends

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s grandson, going under the name “HanSol Kim,” posted on his Facebook page. Public access to the page has been terminated. [YONHAP]

A Facebook page suspected to belong to a grandson of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il went private Saturday, a day after it came under heavy scrutiny from the media.

On Thursday, South Korean media reported that Kim Han-sol, 16, son of Kim Jong-nam, the first son of Kim Jong-il, was enrolling in an international high school in Bosnia.

The media then tracked down a Facebook account suspected of being his.

The Facebook page of “HanSol Kim” contained several profile photos and messages exchanged between him and acquaintances, including a person suspected to be his father, Kim Jong-nam.

On Saturday, public access to the photos and messages was changed to “friends only.”

The main profile photo showed a bespectacled teenager with bleached hair, an earring in his left ear and a pendant on a chain around his neck.

In another photo, he wears a bow-tie and has his arm around the waist of a woman that appeared to be a girl friend. The woman in the photo left the message, “I love you too yeobo” under the photo on the Facebook page. In Korean, yeobo is an endearment mainly used by married couples.

One of the “friends” exchanging messages with him went by the name of Kim Chol. The Facebook page of Kim Chol contained photos of Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-il’s oldest son. Public access to that Facebook page was also shut off Saturday.

An Internet blog suspected to have been written by Kim Han-sol also sealed off public access, and the only information now available is that the blogger enjoys photography, travel, food, wine and spas, and he likes movies “Love Actually” and “Remember the Titans.”

A Twitter account suspected to be his, Khsol616, was blocked off as well except to confirmed followers.

Kim has been accepted to attend the United World College’s branch in Mostar, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Sarajevo, and will arrive in Bosnia once his visa has been approved, the Bosnian school said in a statement Friday.

School officials, including the chairman of the school’s board, David Sutcliffe, indicated that he is Kim Jong-il’s grandson, saying, “The entry of a student from North Korea, furthermore from a very well-known family, has understandably generated surprise and comment, some of it critical.”

The high school was reported to have students from 34 countries, including Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Until recently, Kim Han-sol was known to have attended school in Macau, where Kim Jong-nam has lived since being passed over as successor to Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-nam, 40, was born to the leader’s second wife Song Hye-rim, unlike his two half-brothers Jong-chol and heir-apparent Jong-un, who were born to third wife Ko Yong-hui.

“It is beyond our grasp what was behind Kim Han-sol’s changing schools from Macau to Bosnia, but judging from the Facebook page, he appears to be living a free life in his current residence,” a Seoul official said.


By Yeh Young-june, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합뉴스]

김정일 손자 추정 김한솔, SNS 차단

'민주주의 선택' 눈길… 트위터·블로그도 비공개 설정

북한 김정일 국방위원장의 손자로 추정되는 김한솔(16)이 소셜네트워킹서비스(SNS)인 페이스북과 트위터에서 일반인의 정보 접근을 차단했다.

1일 오전 9시 현재 보스니아의 국제학교인 유나이티드월드칼리지 모스타르 분교(UWCiM)에 등록한 'HanSol Kim'의 페이스북 계정으로 들어가면 사진, 댓글 등에 접근할 수 없고 자물쇠 표시와 함께 '일부 정보만 모든 사람이 공유하고 있다'고 쓰인 안내글을 볼 수 있다.

전날 저녁까지만 해도 페이스북에서 김한솔의 프로필 사진 9장뿐 아니라 김철(필명 'Kim Chol') 등과 안부를 주고받은 글을 확인할 수 있었다.

김한솔이 언제 페이스북에서 일반인 접근을 막았는지 확인하기 어렵지만, 전날 자신에 대한 보도가 확산하자 부담을 느껴 페이스북 정보를 지인들과만 공유하기로 설정을 바꾼 것으로 보인다.

앞서 보스니아 현지 일간지 베체른지리스트는 지난달 28일 UWCiM에 등록한 김한솔의 아버지가 김 위원장의 장남인 김정남이라고 보도했고 지난 30일에는 그의 페이스북이 언론에 소개됐다.

김한솔은 자신의 페이스북 '질의 응답'(Q & A)코너에 '민주주의인가, 공산주의인가(Communism or Democracy)'라고 물음을 적은 뒤 민주주의를 선택하기도 했다.

김한솔이 개설한 것으로 추정되는 트위터도 일반인이 접근하기 어려운 상태다.

그의 페이스북 계정인 'khsol616'과 같은 트위터 주소에 접속하면 '확인된 팔로워만 트윗(tweet)과 프로필에 접근할 수 있다'는 글이 나온다.

또 김한솔이 만든 것으로 보이는 인터넷 블로그에는 프로필 상의 관심 분야가 사진, 여행, 음식, 와인, 스파 등이고 영화 중에서 로맨틱코미디 '러브 액츄얼리(Love Actually)'와 풋볼팀을 소재로 한 '리멤버 타이탄(Remember the Titans)' 등을 좋아한다고 표시돼 있지만, 일반인이 접속해 블로그의 내용을 볼 수 없게 돼 있다.

한편 '미국의 소리(VOA)' 방송은 이날 UWCiM의 메리 무사 대변인이 김한솔이 북한 국적이 맞다고 확인했고 "김한솔은 완벽한 영어를 구사하고 새로 입학하는 학교에 큰 기대감을 보였다"고 말했다고 전했다.

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