Reporting from Seoul —
Kim Jong Eun, newly anointed as North Korea’s next leader, is quickly learning one of the oldest axioms of power: Heavy lies the crown.
Just days after tens of thousands cheered as the youngest son of Kim Jong Il stood on a podium with his ailing father at a lavish military parade in Pyongyang, bad press is already besieging the future ruler.
In the first public signs of discord, Kim Jong Eun’s older half-brother has questioned the family’s hereditary transfer of power. Kim Jong Nam told Japan’s TV Asahi that he is “against third-generation succession,” adding, “I think there were internal factors.”
Not only that, but the construction of a residential estate for Kim Jong Eun adjacent to that of his father’s has seriously strained relations between local civilians and soldiers tasked with building the project, a humanitarian website reported Wednesday.
Because of ongoing food shortages, many of the 12,000 soldiers assigned to building the villa have resorted to raiding local farms for food, angering growers.
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