Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek may have been executed for his taste of young women and role in maintaining a “Pleasure Brigade” for Kim Jong Il, former Kim family sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto has told NK News.
Fujimoto, who worked for the late dictator between 1989 to 2001, told NK News that in maintaining Kim Jong Il’s pleasure brigade – which included girls as young as 15 – Jang would often abuse his position in the talent hunting process, despite being married to Kim Jong Un’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hui.
That, he argued, led to his ultimate execution, and may explain why “improper relations with several women” was included on the official list of crimes that North Korea accused Jang Song Thaek of committing prior to his execution.
“[Kim Jong Un] hates that kind of thing the most. His grandfather Kim Il Sung did similar things. His father also had quite a history with women. So having seen them, he wanted to prove that he’s different and that he would eradicate such practices,” Fujimoto told NK News.
“Mr. Jang Song Thaek had relations with multiple women. Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un could not forgive this, so he executed Mr. Jang Song Thaek, his caretaker and guardian,” the sushi chef speculated.
However, one North Korea specialist told NK News he found it “unlikely’ that this would have been the main reason for Jang’s execution.
“I honestly think that it is unlikely that Jang has been killed solely because of this fact…it could be a (marginal) part of the reason, but I think that the main reasons are to be found elsewhere,” Dr. Antonio Fiori, a university professor at the Political Science Faculty of the University of Bologna told NK News.
PLEASURE GIRL PROCESS
Fujimoto, who claims to have been a close friend of Kim Jong Un during the leaders’ formative years, explained that Jang Song Thaek had a role similar to a “manager” or “president” of a Japanese talent agency during the Kim Jong Il era, selecting the very best girls for interviews and auditions with the North Korean leader.
“During the [interviews] Kim Jong Il would have documents with all their birthplaces and so on, and he would ask questions here and there. If they were singers, they would sing right there. There would be separate auditions for dancers. The panel would ask them to raise their legs and all that,” Fujimoto explained.
But for the girls to get to the auditions, they would have to first pass Jang’s pre-selection process, which was where Jang was known to abuse his position as gatekeeper, often requiring girls to spend a night with him – despite his marriage to Kim Jong Il’s sister.
“North Korea is a country that hates to debase its public moral values, especially through that kind of immoral behavior. So it ignited Kim’s rage,” Fujimoto concluded.
However, Bradley K. Martin, author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty, a book that takes an in-depth look at the ‘Pleasure Brigade’, said it was important to remain cautious about Fujimoto’s claims, pointing out that, “none of my research suggested that Jang was in charge of [‘Pleasure Brigade’] recruitment”.
And while North Korea specialist Dr. Adam Cathcart said he had confidence in some of Fujimoto’s speculation, he pointed out that it was particularly difficult to align the moralistic description of Kim Jong Un’s decision-making process over Jang with the recent Dennis Rodman trip.
“So the young leader wants to be seen as less corrupt and hedonistic than his father, [but] lets Dennis Rodman come and shares the American’s shilled vodka?,” Catchart pointed out.
Fujimoto returned to North Korea in 2012 for the first time in over a decade at the invitation of Kim Jong Un. He was pictured sobbing as he embraced the North Korean leader and confessed for having left his family by escaping the country – and risking his life – in 2001.
Since that visit Fujimoto has conducted a number of interviews with high profile media revealing intimate details about Kim Jong Un. His comments have been noteworthy due to the fact his wife and daughter still live in Pyongyang, leaving them susceptible to recriminations.
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