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He tried to enter Japan using a fake passport in May 2001. This was to visit Disneyland. This caused his father to not approve of him. Kim Jong-nam's younger half-brother Kim Jong-un was made the heir in September 2010.
In June 2010, Kim Jong-nam gave a brief interview to the Associated Press in Macau. He told the reporter that he had "no plans" to defect to Europe. The press had recently said this. Kim Jong-nam lived in an apartment on the southern tip of Macau's Coloane Island until 2007. An anonymous South Korean official reported in October 2010 that Jong-nam had not lived in Macau for "months", and now goes between China and "another country."
The South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo said that Kim Jong-nam has two wives, at least one mistress, and several children. His first wife Shin Jong-hui (born c. 1980) and their son Kum-sol (born c. 1996) live at a home called Dragon Villa on the northern outskirts of Beijing. His second wife Lee Hye-kyong (born c. 1970), their son Han-sol (born c. 1995) and their daughter Sol-hui (born c. 1998) live in an apartment building in Macau. Jong-nam's mistress, former Air Koryo flight attendant So Yong-la (born c. 1980), also lives in Macau.
- Huffington Post article: "Kim Jong Nam, North Korean Leader's Son, Denies Plans To Defect."
- Christian Science Monitor article: "Kim Jong-un confirmed North Korean heir ahead of massive military parade."
- Seattle Times article: "NKorean leader's son gives interview."
- Chosun Ilbo article: "Where Is Kim Jong-il's Eldest Son?."
- "Kim's eldest in 'secret visit' to see body (AFP, January 1, 2012)". http://www.news.com.au/world/kims-eldest-in-secret-visit-to-see-body/story-e6frfkyi-1226234297219.
- "North Korea suspected behind murder of leader's half-brother: U.S....". 15 February 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-malaysia-kim-idUSKBN15T1DN.
- "WordMean Publishing: Independent Publishing Done Differently". http://www.wordmean.org/.