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Jong-Il's son is a gamer, will never rule

Despot disapproves of Jong-chol's hobby.

Despite recent studies by the US Navy that suggest gaming can help make you the perfect soldier, it seems that if you've got designs on becoming a globally-feared North Korean despot, you'd best put the controller down.

According to a 2008 cable between the US consulate in Shanghai and the US State Department procured by Wikileaks and reported by Kotaku, North Korea's ruling despot decided against grooming his youngest son for succession because he plays too many videogames.

The cable reads, "There is consensus among xxxxx that, at least for the moment, none of KJI's three sons is likely to be tapped to succeed him.

"xxxxx considers the two youngest sons, Kim Jong-chol and Kim Jong-un, far too inexperienced and incapable of effective governance. xxxxx, observing that KJI's oldest son, Kim Jong-nam, is 'too much of a playboy,' Kim Jong-chol is 'more interested in videogames' than governing, and Kim Jong-un is simply too young.

"Additionally, KJI had been groomed for many years to replace his father and former North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung before the latter passed away. In contrast, xxxxx, none of the sons has received similar preparatory treatment."

As it happens, the speculative cable actually missed the mark. In recent months it has been reported that Kim Jong-Il is prepping the presumably game-shy Kim Jong-un to take over.

THQ's forthcoming, worryingly prescient FPS Homefront, set in 2027, features Jong-un and his united Korean army invading the USA.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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