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North Korea defector: My generation has no loyalty to Kim Jong Un

Sky News logo Sky News 20-11-2018

Kim Jong-un smiling for the camera: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un does not inspire loyalty, a defector has said © Getty North Korean leader Kim Jong Un does not inspire loyalty, a defector has said Oh Chong Song's escape across the border at the Panmunjom truce village in the demilitarised zone made global headlines last year.

In his first interview the 25-year-old son of a major-general said he felt no allegiance to the North's leadership.

"Inside the North, people, and especially the younger generation, are indifferent to each other, politics, and their leaders, and there is no sense of loyalty," he told the Sankei Shimbun newspaper.

Despite his privileged birth and describing himself as "upper class" he said he felt no allegiance to the North's leadership.

"Probably 80% of my generation is indifferent and has no loyalty," he was quoted as saying.

a man standing in front of a building: A soldier stands guard in the truce village of Panmunjom © Reuters A soldier stands guard in the truce village of Panmunjom "It is natural to have no interest nor loyalty since the hereditary system is taken as a given, regardless of its inability to feed people."

Mr Oh denied media reports in the South that he was wanted for murder in the North.

On the day of his defection, Mr Oh started drinking after some unspecified trouble with friends, the newspaper said. On his way back to his post he broke through a checkpoint and, fearing execution, decided to keep going.

"I feared I could be executed if I went back so I crossed the border," he was quoted as saying, adding he had no regrets about defecting.

Video: N. Korea defector soldier is general's son: report (AFP)

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The newspaper said Japanese intelligence officials had confirmed Mr Oh's identity.

A short clip posted by the Sankei Shimbun on its website shows him wearing a black jacket and a white top, speaking with a slight North Korean accent. His face is not revealed.

Seoul's unification ministry - which handles inter-Korean affairs including the resettlement of defectors - declined to comment on the interview and said it does not keep tabs on defectors after they are released from resettlement centres.

Mr Oh said he does not resent the former comrades who shot him. "If they didn't shoot they would face heavy punishment," he said. "So if I was them, I would have done the same."

Gallery: Facts about Kim Jong Un (Photos Services)

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