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U.S. Pegs Kim Jong-Il's Second Son As A Gaming Loser

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One son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is too busy playing video games to take over the country, according to a video game surprise found among the reams of U.S. government cables disseminated by the Wikileaks organization.

In a September 2008 cable, a member of the U.S. consulate in Shanghai writes to the U.S. State Department, assessing the future prospects of the North Korean nation whose iron-fisted leader had been rumored to be in ill health.

(Redaction in the original Wikileak; emphasis added by Kotaku)

¶8. (C) There is consensus among xxxxx that, at least for the moment, none of KJI's three sons is likely to be tapped to succeed him. xxxxx considers the two youngest sons, Kim Jong-chol and Kim Jong-un, far too inexperienced and incapable of effective governance. xxxxx, observing that KJI's oldest son, Kim Jong-nam, is "too much of a playboy," Kim Jong-chol is "more interested in video games" than governing, and Kim Jong-un is simply too young. Additionally, KJI had been groomed for many years to replace his father and former North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung before the latter passed away. In contrast, xxxxx, none of the sons has received similar preparatory treatment.


The cable's author surmises that none of the sons would succeed the father, allowing the country's military leaders to assume control. In the years since, though, Kim Jong-Il has appeared to promote his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, who is in his late 20s, as the next leader, not only flouting that analysis here but suggesting that youth is less a detrimental quality in a new leader than a video game fixation.

In 2005, the New York Times reported that Kim Jong-chol may have also been viewed as "too effeminate" to take over the Communist country.


The heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, is featured in the upcoming 2011 video game Homefront as the leader of a resurgent and unified Korea that invades the United States.


This cable is one of some 250,000 released by the Wikileaks organization, whose controversial leader Julian Assange was arrested in London earlier this week due to allegations of sexual assault.

PIC - South Korea's President Roh Moo-Hyun (C) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (2nd-L) review the honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in the capital Pyongyang, North Korea, 02 October 2007. STR/AFP/Getty Images