A high-profile North Korean defector has come forward with some shocking allegations against Kim Jong-un.
Identified only as Park – a pseudonym to protect his friends and family in Pyongyang – the defector of the regime asserted that country’s supreme leader had his once-powerful aunt poisoned after she argued with him over her husband’s alleged execution.
“On May 5th or 6th of last year... Kim Jong-un ordered his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui to be killed,” the defector told CNN. “Only his bodyguard unit, Unit 974, knew this – now senior officials also know she was poisoned.”
Kim Kyong Hui’s disappearance from the public view in 2013, a few months before her husband’s death, has been the center of many speculations and controversies. Although various sources claimed that she had a fatal stroke, committed suicide or was suffering from a nerve disorder, the South Korean intelligence agency claimed she was still alive.
Hui and her husband Jang Song Thaek were tasked with guiding the young leader through his early years of power after Kim Jong-il’s death, the former North Korean senior official alleges, adding that the nephew and his uncle did not see eye to eye on money.
“After a year and a half, Kim Jong-un wanted to build the Masikryong Ski Resort and Munsu Water Park, basing it on his experience in Switzerland. Jang Song Thaek initially agreed... but suggested building the economy first. That is where the friction began,” Park elaborated. “Jang was not executed publicly but in an underground secret room. Nobody said they witnessed the execution of Jang.”
If the defector’s allegations hold any truth, Kim has no qualms executing his family members if they go against him.
While the deputy director of the DPRK Institute for Research into National Reunification, Park Yong Chol, called it “malicious slander,” South Korea's national intelligence service claimed that the dictator of the recluse state has killed at least 15 senior officials so far this year.
However, Park's allegations cannot be verified independently.
Meanwhile, a Korean source in Pyongyang states that Kim Kyong Hui is alive and receiving treatment for a nerve disorder in the North’s capital, asserting that Kim Jong-un has personally visited the treatment center to check in and track his aunt’s recovery.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jason Lee