Photo: KCNA via KNS/AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un survived an assassination plot last year, according to the South Korean press.Korea JoongAng Daily, the English-language edition of the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, reports that the a Seoul-based intelligence source told them about the attempt.
“The authorities are paying special attention because the attempt was made in downtown Pyongyang, not during one of Kim’s regional trips outside the capital city,” the source told the newspaper.
Other than the location, little detail is revealed about the attempt. However, the source does say that the plot appears to be linked to the demotion of Kim Yong-chol, the former director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, who was demoted in 2012 after a conflict between groups in the bureau.
According to the source, that conflict devolved into a gunfight and those involved were purged. These officers may have been behind the assassination attempt.
The timing of the assassination attempt also coincides with the sudden ousting of the head of the North Korean Army, Ri Yong-ho. Later reports suggested that Ri may have been marching troops on Pyongyang, and may have himself been killed in a gun battle.
While this new report has to be taken with a pinch of salt, there was a lot of talk about tensions between the young Kim and his country’s military last year.
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