Wikileaks: U.S. Bags on North Korean Leader’s Son for Gaming

One document leaked by Wikileaks (from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai) shows that at least some in the U.S. State Department might have a dim view of gamers. Buried in a leaked cable entitled "SHANGHAI SCHOLARS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER DELAY IN SIX-PARTY" (September 2008 ) is an interesting evaluation of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il’s three sons and a mention of video games.

Amidst the details on six-party talks, Kim Jong-Il’s health, the benefits of removing North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terror list, and "future leaders" of the country, is a mention of KJI’s youngest son and his fascination with video games:

¶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 goes on to say that if the North Korean Leader dies, the military would take over. Of course, the unknown author was a bit off the mark. The odd North Korean figurehead went on to name his youngest son as his successor. 

Source: Wikileaks by way of Kotaku

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  1. 0
    Monte says:

     I don’t see that that implication… if anything the idea i got that he spends more time playing games than he does getting involved in politics and preparing himself for leadership. True they don’t mention anything else negative about him, but they aslo don’t mention anything positive either… quickly looking him up there doesn’t seem to be much on his political activity; in fact he’s already been passed over for succession in N. Korea in favor of the youngest brother.

    Frankly if all you do is play video games and do not put much effort in getting involved in politics, then ya, its fair to say you are more interested in video games than assuming leadership, and would likely not make for a good leader… 

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I did not get that implication, esp when put next to the ‘too much of a playboy’ comment about the other.  What I get from that (rather short) cable is that they assessed those two sons as more interested in the luxuray lifestyle afforded to them then studing statecraft.  Learning to take over a country like NK is kinda a full time job but it is always tempting to say ‘screw it, my father owns a country, I can bum around like a prince!’ and slack off.   Thier particular poision does not seem to be important.

  3. 0
    Rohin says:

    The implication being, of course, that since he enjoys video games he is unlikely to be tapped to be the next leader. No other points are made outlining his unsuitability to lead.

    Of course, that might be the US Gov’s view of N. Korea’s view of the situation, rather than their own value, so you might have a point.

    But someone concerned in this cable, whether the US Gov or the North Korean Gov, thinks that he’s unsuitable because of his video gaming hobby. They mentioned no other reason.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Eh, saying that the State Dept has a ‘dim view of games’ based off this assessment of a potential leader of a major country… seems a bit sensationalist.

  5. 0
    Thad says:

    Sorta seems like another one culled from a Google News Alert for stories containing the words "video games" and "politics".  There’s no real game story here.

    And you got the details wrong.  There is no "mention of KJI’s youngest son and his fascination with video games"; the video game comment is made in reference to Kim Jong-chol, while the youngest son (and, more importantly, heir apparent) is Kim Jong-un.

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