“My name is Kim Han-sol, from North Korea, part of the Kim family,” said 21-year-old son of the slain Kim Jong-nam – half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This is the first time that Han-sol has appeared in public since his father’s assassination at an airport in Malaysia on February 13, using a highly toxic nerve agent. It was believed to have been organised by North Korean agents, an involvement which has been repeatedly denied by the regime.
“My father has been killed a few days ago. I’m currently with my mother and my sister. We are very grateful to...,” he says, before the audio is cut short. It’s not clear where Kim Han Sol is in the video or when it was shot, though he says his father was killed “a few days ago.”
The video was uploaded by Cheollima Civil Defense, an organisation claiming to help defectors. The statement on its website mentioned the governments of the Netherlands, China, the United States, and a fourth unnamed country in providing “emergency humanitarian assistance” to protect the family, and singled out the Dutch Ambassador to South Korea, AJA Embrechts for credit.
None of the embassies has commented on it.
In the 38-second video, Han-sol shows his North Korean passport as proof of his identity, but the particulars are blacked out. Kim Han Sol’s identity was verified to CNN by a South Korean National Intelligence Service spokesman.
The release of the video adds a twist to the killing as no immediate member of Kim Jong-nam’s family has come forward to claim his body. Malaysian authorities have refused to release it without DNA from the Kim family.
Meanwhile, North Korea has demanded the release of the body for a “forced” autopsy.
Kim Han-sol, born in Pyongyang, went into exile with his family in Macau, a Chinese enclave, and has studied in Bosnia and France.
In 2012, he gave an interview (videos below) at the age of 17 to former United Nations Under-Secretary General Elisabeth Rehn, then the president of the school he studied in. “I have always dreamed one day I will go back and make things better – make it easier for all the people there,” he had said.