At least two suspects who attempted to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were arrested, according to unconfirmed reports in the country.
The suspects had been reportedly arrested at the China border near the Tumen River as they were preparing a hit on Kim in the city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.
A source in the North who spoke to Japanese news service Asia Press on the condition of anonymity said he had heard the “terrorists” had not yet crossed the Tumen, which separates North Korea from China, when North Korean border guards crossed the border to arrest them. The source went on to say the suspects were transferred to the State Security Department, and that the border guards were given rewards – including a chance to become members of the Korean Workers’ Party.
One of the suspects is allegedly a North Korean defector from the South, but the other one or more were Chinese nationals.
Japanese journalist Jiro Ishimaru, founder of Asia Press, said it is likely a rumor that was manufactured by the state to bolster support for the party ahead of its Seventh Congress in Maya congress that is to be held for the first time in more than three decades.