North Korean officials: Kim Jong Un targeted in assassination attempt

Allegations have yet to be corroborated, but fingers point to disgruntled Gen. Kim Yong Chol

Topics: GlobalPost, North Korea, South Korea, Kim Jong-un, Kim Yong Chol,

North Korean officials: Kim Jong Un targeted in assassination attemptNorth Korea leader Kim Jong Un (Credit: Reuters/Kyodo)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

The London Telegraph reported that the alleged murder plot may have been the work of a faction loyal to Kim Yong Chol, a four-star general demoted last year before being restored to his previous rank and rehabilitated.

The Telegraph cited the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper as reporting that an exchange of gunfire in Pyongyang last November may have signaled the attempt.

The Express, meantime, quoted a source as saying:

“It appeared that disgruntled people inside the North moved before the time of the demotion of Kim Yong Chol.”

GlobalPost senior correspondent in Korea, Geoffrey Cain, warns readers to take the news with a grain of salt.

“Nobody knows for sure whether anybody really tried to assassinate Kim Jong Un, or if this amounts to speculation from the South Korean intelligence agency,” Cain said from Seoul.

The original JoongAng daily report cited an anonymous intelligence source, which is a common practice in South Korea as a condition for getting interviews.

“Beyond that,” Cain said, “the allegations can’t be corroborated yet.”

If anything, many experts say that Kim Jong Un has turned out to be a more powerful leader than originally thought, adept at dealing with the military power holders who can, if they want, be antagonistic.

Gen. Kim Yong Chol, who the press suggested was behind the assassination attempt, was until recently considered one of the closest allies of Kim Jong Un.

He was reportedly behind the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March 2010 and the deadly bombing of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island later that same year.

North Korea analysis website, 38 North, points out that Gen. Kim’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) has become more prominent recent years, and NK Leadership Watch, another DPRK analysis site, notes that Gen. Kim is reportedly difficult to manage.



But GlobalPost’s Cain says “that’s not enough evidence to suggest that an assassination really happened.

A power struggle between the intelligence department of the ruling Workers’ Party and a division of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces resulted in Gen. Kim’s demotion last year.

However, the general appeared to have since been accepted back into Kim Jong Un’s inner fold. He was promoted back to his original rank and even appeared alongside the young leader at a recent musical recital.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>