Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong’s grandson may have been among the 36 casualties in a bus accident in North Korea last month, according to Radio France International’s Chinese arm.
While the Chinese government has not released the names of the victims, RFI reported on April 30 citing a Chinese source that 48-year-old Mao Xinyu was among those who perished in the bus crash in North Hwanghae Province.
The report claims Mao Xinyu was in North Korea as part of a group of tourists who were children of Chinese soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
Despite his lack of experience and accolades, Mao Xinyu became the youngest major general of the People’s Liberation Army in 2009, Shanghaiist reported.
Over the years, the army officer was made fun of on Chinese social media for his size and catastrophic live interviews, such as this one:
Mao Xinyu was the son of Mao Anqing, who died in 2007. His uncle, Mao Anying, on the other hand, was killed in North Korea while fighting for the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un later apologized to the Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun and visited survivors of the bus accident in the hospital.
He was also seeing the victims’ bodies off at a train station and expressed “bitter sorrow” over the deaths of the Chinese tourists.
New Tang Dynasty Television reported that Mao Xinyu had previously visited North Korea five times and claimed to have met the nation’s founder Kim Il-sung in 1986 and 1990, according to The Chosun Ilbo.