by Staff Writers
Seoul (UPI) Oct 22, 2012
The nephew of North Korea's leader has said he wants to "make things better" for his people and sees his future in humanitarian work.
Kim Han Sol, 17, said in an interview for Finnish television that one of his dreams is for North and South Korea to be unified.
He said he wants to go to university and sees himself and ''volunteering somewhere'' to help the people of North Korea.
"I would like to engage in more humanitarian projects, work to contribute to building world peace, especially back home because that is a really important part of me,'' said Kim, speaking fluent English with a North American accent.
Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam, the eldest and estranged brother of Kim Jong Un. Kim Han Sol was born in Pyongyang but grew up in China and then Macao where his father has been living for years.
Kim said he has never met his uncle, Kim Jong Un. Nor did he meet his grandfather Kim Jong Il, whose death in December resulted in Kim Jong Un succeeding to power.
The young Kim is attending an exclusive private school in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The school is part of the United World College's 12 campuses worldwide whose students are from 2-21 years old.
The first UWC college, the United World College of the Atlantic, was set up in Wales, in the United Kingdom, in 1962. A U.S. campus was established in Montezuma, N.M., in 1982.
The smiling and bespectacled young Kim, wearing several pearl ear-studs and a black suit, was interviewed in English by former U.N. Undersecretary General Elisabeth Rehn, who is president of the Mostar UWC campus, which opened in 2006.
Kim said he used to return to North Korea for the summers, but growing up in Macao and China, "it was very isolated" and his family kept a low profile.
"In my school in Macao we had people from the United States and South Korea," he said. "These are countries that we (North Korea) are having a lot of conflicts with. But then we turned out to be really great friends and that sparked a curiosity for me to go further and I chose the United World College.
"In the residences you can sit down and have a chat for hours and hours about our conflicts back home and the divisions in those societies," said Kim, whose college room-mate is from Libya and who was "enthusiastic" about the recent Libyan revolution.
"From that we can come to a common understanding on many different topics. At the end of the day we all realize we have similar core human values."
Rehn, who is a former minister of defense for Finland and was a U.N. special rapporteur for Human Rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina, asked Kim if he "felt badly that the dynasty you are coming from hasn't perhaps been the best for the people."
Kim said he has "had a lot of thoughts" about the past leadership of his country and while it was awkward when he first met South Koreans, ''little by little'' they started to understand each other.
''I concluded that through meeting people, I will just take opinions from both sides, see what's good and what's bad and make my own decisions and not completely side with only one side,'' he said.
"Also, we sometimes shared our stories from back home and realized how similar we are in language and culture. It's just political issues that divide the nation in half.
"My friends would say it would be really great to just take a bus to North Korea or to South Korea and meet somewhere. That's one of the dreams."
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