Book Claims Kim's Eldest Fears NKorea May Collapse

By Salon Staff

Published January 18, 2012 7:27AM (EST)

TOKYO (AP) — A new book claims that the eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il believes the impoverished regime may be destined to collapse and fears his young half-brother isn't ready to lead.

The book by Tokyo-based journalist Yoji Gomi went on sale Wednesday. He says it is based on email exchanges he had with Kim Jong Nam over many years.

The book drew immediate attention as a rare view into the family that has led the secretive country for decades. Since Kim Jong Il's death Dec. 17, North Korea has been led by his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.

"Jong Un will just be a figurehead," the book quotes Kim Jong Nam as saying. It claims he said the collapse of North Korea's economy is "within sight" unless it initiates reforms, which could also bring it down.

Salon Staff

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