Kim Jong-Un met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ahead of Kim's summit with President Donald Trump in June 2018.
/ November 29, 2023
Just because Kim Jong-Un is paranoid doesn’t mean a wide variety of North Korean operatives aren’t out to kill him.
An active and funded plot to assassinate Kim may have been foiled during the process in which South Korean conservative President Park Geun-Hye was impeached, according to a report. And it was not an isolated plan. There have been several other serious assassination plots against Kim who is said to be more widely hated than his father, Kim Jong-Il, and grandfather, Kim Il-Sung.
Saying that he was financed by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), operative Kim Seong-Il detailed a scheme to kill Kim Jong-Un with either a biological toxin or polonium, the same radioactive substance that killed the ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.
By the time mass protests had broken out in Seoul against Park, North Korean operatives are believed to have learned of the activities of Kim Seong-Il, Donald Kirk reported for The Daily Beast on Nov. 27.
It is now suspected that South Korean sources, in the turmoil surrounding Park’s arrest, trial, and imprisonment, may have relayed names of the plotters to a contact close to Kim Jong-Un.
A former officer at NIS “confirms that the intel agency was providing financial backing for a plan that would have shocked the world. North Korea believed the CIA was also part of the plot,” Kirk, a former Geostrategy-Direct
contributing editor wrote.
“Incredibly, the NIS may have suspected something was amiss but was still communicating with Kim Seong-Il while he was already in North Korean custody and being told what to say in order to obtain the names of others in the plot,” Kirk added.
After Park’s ouster, the new president in South Korea, leftist Moon Jae-In, was intent on North-South reconciliation and eager for dialogue with Kim Jong-Un.
Moon purged the NIS of operatives who might support a movement to overthrow Kim. “As soon as a new NIS director was appointed, he did away with the whole thing,” said Choi Woo-Suk, editor of the Monthly Chosun.
Lee Byung-Ho, the NIS director under Park, was arrested on spurious charges after North Korea demanded he be extradited to Pyongyang. Lee appeared to confirm the plot to get rid of Kim Jong-Un, saying while on trial in Seoul, “We have supported the revolutionary force inside North Korea.”
Lee, now free, wound up serving two and a half years in prison.
“The team of would-be Kim-killers hatched their plot not only in Pyongyang but in Russia, where they could more easily obtain arms and hoped to avoid the intense scrutiny of Kim’s elite bodyguards,” Kirk wrote.
Kirk noted that, in Seoul, the person closest to the plot was Doh Hee-Youn, CEO of the Citizens Commission for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees. Doh communicated with plot leader Kim Seong-Il, who was based in the Siberian city of Khabarovsk across the border in Russia, where he was supervising a North Korean team hired to cut down trees in surrounding forests.
“For two or three years, I had conversations,” with Kim Seong-Il, whose “intent was to topple the Kim regime,” Doh said.
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