|Really, I'm telling you|
these are not pajamas!
Well, it turns out that the entire episode wasn't true at all, according to the Macau hotel that supposedly had kicked out their famed deadbeat guest. It was apparently a ruse from a Russian media outlet that was trying to punk the rest of the world.
From the New York Times:
But the story, which apparently originated in Argumenti i Fakti, a Russian newsweekly, was not true, according to a spokeswoman for the hotel in question, the five-star Grand Lapa Macao.Boy I guess everyone has kyeran on their face (really, that's kyeran).
A spokeswoman for the hotel, part of the Mandarin Oriental chain, denied the story categorically to Rendezvous. She said Mr. Kim, 40, had never stayed at the Grand Lapa nor had he run up any charges there. She did say that he popped up in Macau “from time to time,’’ but not at her hotel.
The Russian magazine even had quotes from “an unnamed source” at the hotel who said: “He gave us his Visa Gold card but it ended up having no money on the account.”
Not sure what to make of this. One wonders if someone was running a systems analysis to see how various parties would react. For example, would Seoul's or Washington's or Tokyo's intelligence apparatus scramble to see if they could take KJN under their protective wing?
Anyway, my earlier plan (prior to this news story) is still intact: the next time I'm in Macau I'm going to see if I can track him down in one of the casino piano bars and do a Monster Island interview. That would be quite the coup (and probably the only coup we'll ever see associated with Kim Jong-nam).
One prominent K-blogging figure responded to this story by saying, "There is such an intelligence black hole with North Korea that people are starting to make shit up."
To which I replied: "Starting?!" The Western, South Korean, Japanese, and lately even European media has long been making up stuff to fill the void of information they don't know.
Over at One Free Korea, commenter Spelunker referred to the "unreliable obscure source" as "bad news." And that has inspired me to refer to such questionable Russian information sources as the "bad news bears."
Questionable information sources from North Korea, especially those adding Kim Jong-un's name to the official hagiography, will continue to be called "grim fairy tales."