North Koreans arrested for questioning Kim Jong Un's legitimacy

Kim Jong Un has never visited the designated birthplace of his grandfather.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Koreans arrested for questioning Kim Jong Un's legitimacy
Kim Jong Un has reportedly never paid respects to his grandfather Kim Il Sung at Mangyongdae, the North Korea founder’s designated birthplace. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun

SEOUL, June 23 (UPI) -- More North Koreans are questioning Kim Jong Un's legitimacy, but authorities are cracking down on increased skepticism in the country.

A Pyongyang resident visiting Jagang Province along the China border told Radio Free Asia two students at Kim Il Sung University made an issue of Kim's indifference to paying respects to Kim Il Sung at Mangyongdae – his grandfather's designated birthplace.


Kim has reportedly never visited Mangyongdae since fully assuming power in 2012.

The students questioned the North Korean leader's "pedigree," or his claims to the "Paektu bloodline," which would obligate him, like others in North Korea, to visit the official birthplace of his grandfather.

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The students were arrested by Pyongyang's State Security Department, the source said.

Another student, a young woman, at the Pyongyang University of Construction and Building-materials Industry, was taken into custody after her family members questioned Kim Jong Un's lineage at their workplace.

A second source in Ryanggang Province said state security issued a strong warning to the residents of Samjiyon County to not cast doubt on Kim Jong Un's legitimacy.

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In 2015, two guides at the Mount Paektu historical secret campsite were "dragged to prison camps" for questioning Kim's lineage, the source added.


North Korea founder Kim Il Sung allegedly used the camp to plan battles against Japanese colonial authorities.

Kim did not visit the campsite once during trips to Samjiyon, the source said, raising concerns among North Koreans who still revere Kim Il Sung.

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"There are many people who question whether Kim Jong Un is of Paektu lineage," the source said.

There is no photographic evidence Kim ever met his grandfather.

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