Kim Han Sol, the nephew of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, has reportedly turned down an offer to study at an Oxford graduate college over fears that his uncle could have him assassinated. It is widely believed that Kim Han Sol’s father, Kim Jong Nam, was murdered by agents of the North Korean regime in an airport in Malaysia last week.
The Daily Mail reported that Han Sol’s girlfriend already studies at Oxford University, and that he was set to join her before receiving a warning that his life would be put at risk. He was advised by Chinese security agents that he could not be protected while studying at the university.
Han Sol remains living under armed guard in the Chinese city of Macau. Security sources have been quoted as saying that the Kim regime would not carry out an assassination attempt on Chinese soil for fear of upsetting its greatest political ally.
Kim Jong Un took power in 2011 after the death of his father, and has since sought to consolidate his grip on power. In 2013 he executed his uncle Jang Sung Taek and last Monday his half-brother Kim Jong Nam was allegedly murdered by North Korean agents in Kuala Lumper.
It is likely that the North Korean leader is trying to eliminate any potential figure who could be installed in his place. Kim Jong Nam was advised by Chinese officials that his life was at risk, but allegedly ignored this and frequently travelled to Malaysia to see a mistress. He was heir apparent to the North Korean leadership until 2001, when he was forced into exile after visiting Disneyland illicitly with his family.
The Mail quoted a Beijing unnamed source saying, “North Korea depends heavily on Chinese aid and Kim Jong Un wouldn’t dare kill his nephew on Chinese soil.
“In Britain, however, Han Sol would be at far greater risk. We don’t know for sure if he turned down the university place because of the warning but it now looks as if that decision may have kept him alive for now.”
Han Sol’s whereabouts are currently unknown, with Malaysian newspapers reporting that he was scheduled to fly to Malaysia but never arrived at the airport.