Kim Jong Il, a Chinese Orphan and North Korea’s Nuke Test

What’s the link between Kim Jong Il, a Nanjing orphan, and Korea’s recent nuclear test?

The answer to that conundrum lies buried deep within Kim Jong Il’s Godson Yang Bin: From Orphan to Sinuiju SAR Chief, a Chinese book just published in English by Fortune Gate (HK) Ltd.

If you’ve never heard of the “Yang Bin Affair” (杨斌事件) or the Sinuiju SAR (新义州特区), that’s not surprising.  The Chinese government might even to be pleased to learn that, since it would confirm that its arrest and imprisonment of Yang Bin—Number 2 on Forbes 2001 list of the richest Chinese—has been quite effective in keeping the Sinuiju SAR off the world map.

To set the scene, let’s quote from the book’s back cover:Yang Bin

This is. . .the biography of Yang Bin, who rose from humble beginnings to become Kim Jong Il’s Godson, and the top official of North Korea’s ill-fated “Sinuiju Special Administrative Region” (SAR).

A naturalized Dutch citizen born and raised in the PRC, Yang Bin made his fortune in Europe and China. Invited to visit the impoverished “Hermit Kingdom” of North Korea, he accepts. He is full of affection and compassion for the North Koreans, and invests his heart and his capital—donating millions of dollars —to bring Dutch-style modern agricultural know-how to this isolated country.  

His selfless conduct earns the respect of the people and their Supreme Leader, Marshal Kim Jong Il. At that unique historical moment when North Korea, inspired by the success of China’s Special Economic Zones, wished to establish its own, Yang Bin won the honor of serving as the Chief Executive of the brand new Sinuiju SAR.   

Yang Bin is a living legend: From orphan to billionaire, from poor overseas student to Chief Executive of the Sinuiju SAR, North Korea’s daring experiment with international capitalism. [Read more…]