North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KIS Memoirist Says ROK Denied Asylum Claim

Yonhap reports that Kim Jong-ryul, an Austrian-based former Kim Il-sung Personal Secretariat employee who has released a memoir, claims that in 2006 the ROK Embassy in Vienna rejected his claim for asylum:

“But it fell through. As the embassy official rejected me, it amounts to the South Korean government’s rejection,” Kim said in a telephone interview with Yonhap News. “It appears they did so because I’m a communist with horns.”

A senior official at the embassy in Austria acknowledged that Kim had contacted the mission, but said he then fell off the radar without a clear explanation.

“It appears that the dialogue back then did not go smoothly,” the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the embassy has had no contact with Kim since his resurfacing.

Mr. Kim also discussed his sparse life on the road after leaving his post in 1994:

“I have slept on the same bed every day for the past 5,619 days in an underground room in a small rural village on the outskirts of Vienna,” he said, adding that he lived on a small amount of money he stashed away beforehand. “I think I lived on about 3.5 euros a day, which is not even enough to buy a pack of cigarettes.”


This article was written on 12 Mar 2010, and is filled under Kim Family, Kim Jong-il, KJI Personal Secretariat, Third Floor.

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