North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un lives in fear of assassination by U.S. and South Korean forces, a South Korean lawmaker said.
Kim now prefers to travel at dawn and switches his Mercedes-Benz 600 for cheaper cars of his subordinates out of fear an airstrike or a clandestine operation may end his life.
This information was relayed by the South Korean National Intelligence Services during a closed-door parliamentary session, according to Rep. Lee Cheol-woo of the main opposition Liberty Party of Korea, who attended the meeting, according to The Korea Herald. The young dictator is “extremely nervous,” the intelligence agency was quoted as stating.
Kim’s fears are based on rumors that the U.S. and South Korea have included a preemptive strike, including eliminating Kim, in their response plan to North Korea’s possible aggression—the Operation Plan 5015 of 2015.
The so-called “decapitation operation” was described as part of the plan in a report from Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The Korea Herald also wrote that unit “tasked with eliminating Kim and paralyzing the North’s command and control system” is scheduled to be operation by the end of the year.
Last year, however, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense denied the reports. “The term ‘decapitation strike’ does not exist in the Ministry’s operational concepts,” an unnamed defense official said, according to The Hankyoreh.
President Donald Trump has shown willingness to adopt a stronger stance towards North Korea as the dictatorship inches its way towards a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead as far as the U.S.
But Trump seems to mainly focus on convincing China to exert pressure on its rogue neighbor.
U.S. and Chinese regime’s diplomatic and defense chiefs will meet on June 21 for a security dialogue that Washington says will focus on curbing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are scheduled to meet China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of state of the People’s Liberation Army.
Reuter contributed to this report.