A former North Korean officer has given a detailed account of the permanent state of paranoia and fear that has engulfed the world's most secretive regime, marred by assassination plots and brutal repression.
The former intelligence officer, who claims to have escaped North Korea and goes by the name of Mr K, detailed two assassination plots against Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, who ruled North Korea from 1994 to 2011, with an iron fist.
In one attempt, a lone gunman using heavy weapons tried to shoot Jong-il dead but was captured before firing. In a separate attempt on his life, a dissident driving a 20- tonne lorry rammed his motorcade but failed to kill the dictator after he struck the wrong vehicle in a convoy of identical limousines, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Mr K also claims to have witness two attempted coups against the supreme leader by Soviet-trained members of the Korean People's Army using military equipment and missiles.
A group of officers attempted to blow up the Russian consulate in the city of Chongjin hoping the attack would trigger military action against North Korea in retaliation from the Russian government.
Separately, a military unit planned a missile strike on the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Both plots were discovered and suppressed before they were set in motion.
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Mr K's testimony cannot be independently verified but it coincides with the arrest of Russian-trained officers in 1994 in what was later known as 'the Frunze Affair'. Similarly, in 1997, a fire broke out at the Army’s Sixth Corps's headquarters where soldiers raided the premises to make arrests.
The former officer the ruling family became increasingly paranoid and beefed up security to the point where family members where patted down before meeting the dictator and his son. They would surround themselves with bodyguards, security and regular police at all times.
In February, North Korea rejected a UN report comparing the totalitarian state’s crimes against humanity to Nazi-era atrocities, including murder, rape, forced abortions, torture and enslavement.
The foreign ministry said the scathing report was "peppered with sheer lies and fabrications deliberately cooked up by hostile forces and riff-raffs such as some 'elements with ambiguous identities who defected from the north', criminals escaped from it after committing crimes against the country to earn money".Reuse content