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Was North Korean leader Kim Jung-un's grandpa a traitor?

May 9, 2012 - Tokyo

Archives discovered in Osaka, Japan have revealed that North Korean leader Kim Jung-un's grandfather collaborated with Japanese Army soldiers during the Second World War.

Kim Jung-un's maternal grandfather, Ko Gyon-tek, worked at a factory in Osaka making uniforms for the Japanese army who were hunting Kim Il-sung, the guerrilla leader and founder of the North Korean regime whose son would later marry the current dictator's mother.

Collaborating with the Japanese occupiers of Korea would normally have meant incarceration in North Korea's gulags for the traitor and his family but Ko avoided that fate by returning to North Korea in the early 1960s thanks to his daughter being in love with Kim Jong-il, the son of Kim Il-sung.

Human rights activist Ken Kato who discovered the files in Japan's military archives and the library of the country's parliament, believes they undermine Kim Jung-un's legitimacy to rule.

He also believes that the dictator, who is believed to be 29, will have been unaware of his grandfather's background - which would have placed him in the lowest "hostile" class of North Korean society.

Ko apparently managed to conceal his past and found work in a chemical factory, the records indicate, while his daughter began to dance with the Mansudae Art Troupe. It was as a dancer that she caught the eye of Kim Jong-il.


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