North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and his deceased father Kim Jong II reportedly used fake Brazilian passports for visa applications to gain access to Western counties in the 1990s, Western Security sources told Reuters.
Photocopies of the passports, which were Brazilian, appeared to show pictures of the North Korean leaders under pseudonyms Josef Pwag and Ijong Tchoi.
The documents contained stamps from the Brazilian Embassy in Prague and were implicated in visa applications for at least two Western countries, Reuters reported Wednesday.
A senior Western Security source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to Reuters that the documents were perhaps used as a back route to other countries.
“They used these Brazilian passports, which clearly show the photographs of Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il, to attempt to obtain visas from foreign embassies,” the source said. “This shows the desire for travel and points to the ruling family’s attempts to build a possible escape route.”
An anonymous Brazilian source said that the passports were legitimate when sent out as blanks to the embassies. It was unclear whether they physically obtained the visas or traveled with the passports, however, sources said that the two possibly visited Brazil, Hong Kong and Japan during the time.
The North Korean Embassy refused to comment, while Brazil’s foreign ministry claimed to have launched an investigation.
In 2011, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Kim Jong-un visited Tokyo as a child with a Brazilian passport. He reportedly studied at a Swiss boarding school in the 1990s, where he pretended to be a relative of a North Korean embassy official.
Kim Jong-un took leadership of North Korea after his father died in 2011. During his reign, Kim Jong-un has spearheaded the development of the country’s weapons and engaged in several verbal spats with U.S. President Donald Trump.