Former North Korean intelligence officer reveals coup and assassination attempts against Kim Jong-il
A North Korean defector, a former intelligence officer now living in South Korea, has revealed details about assassination attempts on North Korea’s former leader and plots to overthrow him. Plots to kill Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, who ruled North Korea from 1994 to December 2011, have involved a lone gunman, a 20-tonne truck and even missile strikes, he said.
The defector said that in one assassination attempt a lone gunman plotted to murder Jong-il with machine gun fire, but he was arrested before he could carry out the attack.
Another attempt came a bit closer to succeeding. Jong-il’s motorcade was rammed by a 20-tonne lorry, but the driver was fooled by Jong-il’s tactic of deploying decoy cars and he struck the wrong limousine.
There were also two attempted coups, both plotted by members of the Korean People’s Army that had been trained at Moscow’s Frunze military academy and established strong links with Russia. Both plots were uncovered before they had a chance of being put into action.
While difficult to verify these revelations, two incidents do seem to back-up the defector’s claims. In 1994 officers that had studied in Russia were arrested in what was known as the ‘Frunze Affair’, and in 1997 a firefight erupted at the headquarters of the North Korean Army’s Sixth Corps when soldiers stormed it to make arrests.