When veteran North Korea watchers turn their attention to a young man named Kim Han-sol, these days his real identity is no longer much in question.
Their overriding concerns are “where is he?” and “who is hiding him?” Is he with the Chinese, the South Koreans or the Americans? Or is he the well-guarded guest of a North Korean defector group?
Han-sol is the 22-year-old son of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who was assassinated in Malaysia earlier this year in a plot involving suspected agents from Pyongyang.
He is also the grandson of former North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il. This qualifies him as the last surviving male of so-called “Baekdu” descent — the direct bloodline running from North Korean state founder Kim Il-sung. Read more here.