July 30, 2010 / 5:47 AM / 7 years ago

North Korean diplomats seize books on Kim in Myanmar

YANGON (Reuters) - North Korean diplomats in Myanmar have confiscated hundreds of copies of a locally published biography on the Stalinist state’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, the book’s author said Friday.

Prominent Burmese writer Hein Latt, 62, said two senior embassy officials visited his home and took away the remaining 300 copies of the book, which they said was “false and inaccurate” and could endanger ties between the two countries.

“I handed over these books just because I don’t want to take the trouble to sort out whatever consequences will appear,” Hein Latt told Reuters, adding he had not received any complaints from the authorities in military-ruled Myanmar.

There was no immediate explanation as to why diplomats were acting to confiscate books in a foreign country.

North Korea and Myanmar have developed a close diplomatic relationship, causing concern among Asian and Western countries fearful the two are cooperating on issues related to nuclear weapons technology.

North Korea’s Foreign Minister, Pak Ui-chun, is currently in Myanmar on a four-day visit.

Hein Latt, who has authored about 25 biographies, including books on U.S. President Barack Obama, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, said about 700 copies of his book had been sold since it was launched two months ago.

He said the biography, entitled “Kim Jong-Il: The Dear Leader of North Korea,” had been approved by the Press Scrutiny Department of the Myanmar’s Ministry of Information. It was written in the Burmese language.

The embassy officials said it contained false information because it made references to other texts published in North America about Kim, son of North Korea’s late founder, Kim Il-sung, the country’s “eternal” president.

Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Martin Petty and Ron Popeski

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