Monday, May 20, 2013
China is secretly pursuing plans to install North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's older brother Kim Jong-nam at the head of the renegade country in case the regime collapses, Germany’s Deutsche Welle reported Thursday.
Under the headline "Is China Seeking Regime Change in North Korea," Deutsche Welle cited intelligence sources as saying Beijing "has a contingency plan in place for when Kim Jong-un's control over the country crumbles." It is "quietly encouraging regime change and is grooming Kim's brother, Kim Jong-nam to take over his role."
Kim Jong-nam's relative obscurity at home is a problem. "Even residents of Pyongyang know very little" about him, according to the report.
The broadcaster said North Korea's sudden throttling back of its aggressive rhetoric and provocations has led to suggestions that "Pyongyang has realized it has pushed its only ally in the region to the brink of severing its friendship."