Is Josef Pwag Really Kim Jong Un?
Sources tell Reuters they've found the leader's secret Brazilian passport
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2018 4:01 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2018 6:25 AM CST
In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his sister Kim Yo Jong watch a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (Minoru Iwasaki/Kyodo News via AP, File)

(Newser) – Meet Josef Pwag and Ijong Tchoi. Or, Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il, respectively, if Reuters sources are correct. The news agency exclusively reports on what five senior Western European security sources say are Brazilian passports that were fraudulently issued to the North Koreans in 1996. A source explains the potential motivation: to use the Brazilian passports to get visas from foreign embassies. The sources say the passports were actually used in such applications in two unnamed countries in the West, though Reuters couldn't verify whether any visas were ultimately issued.

It also couldn't verify the passports' authenticity, as it only viewed photocopies of them, though its sources say facial recognition technology identified the photos as depicting the Kims. "This shows the desire for travel and points to the ruling family’s attempts to build a possible escape route," says one of the sources. By way of background, Reuters says it has been established that North Korean rulers have used fraudulently obtained travel papers but says actual examples of them are quite rare. See the photocopies at Reuters.

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