Kim’s night­mare

Ex-KGB agents hired to train body­guards, new re­port claims.

Herald on Sunday - - WORLD -

North Korea’s leader is fear­ful of be­ing as­sas­si­nated by US Navy seals.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un lives in con­stant fear of as­sas­si­na­tion and has re­port­edly hired Rus­sian ex-KGB body­guards to pro­tect him in case of an at­tempt on his life.

Ja­pan’s Asahi Shin­bum news­pa­per has re­ported that Kim hired about 10 for­mer KGB counter-ter­ror­ism agents to train his body­guards on how to de­tect and re­spond to ter­ror­ist at­tacks, says the busi­ness news web­site, Busi­ness In­sider Aus­tralia.

The KGB, the for­mer Soviet Union’s main se­cu­rity and spy agency, had decades of prac­tice in de­fend­ing high­value tar­gets against at­tempts at regime change.

The source told Asahi Shin­bum that Kim was par­tic­u­larly scared of US ad­vanced-weapons sys­tems, like the Grey Ea­gle drone the United States is set to op­er­ate in South Korea in 2018.

How­ever, it’s un­clear how counter-ter­ror­ism body­guards could pro­tect Kim against a high-fly­ing drone rain­ing down bombs.

South Korean me­dia has re­ported that the US and South Korea have been work­ing to­gether on a “de­cap­i­ta­tion force” [mil­i­tary speak for re­moval of a leader] to kill Kim in the event that Py­ongyang be­comes in­tol­er­a­bly ag­gres­sive.

Kim has a his­tory of go­ing to ex­treme mea­sures to shore up his reign over North Korea, with some re­ports say­ing he killed his half­brother Kim Jong-nam to thwart a Chi­nese-backed coup at­tempt.

Last month Newsweek mag­a­zine re­ported Kim is so fear­ful of be­ing as­sas­si­nated by US Navy Seals that he will only travel at night and uses var­i­ous cars be­long­ing to his sub­or­di­nates.

Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of al-Qaeda, was killed in a raid in Pak­istan on May 2, 2011, by Navy Seals.

South Korean Na­tional In­tel­li­gence ser­vices told a closed door par­lia­men­tary ses­sion that Kim had stopped us­ing his Mercedes-Benz to avoid de­tec­tion, Lee Cheol-woo, from the Lib­erty Party of Korea, who at­tended the meet­ing, told the Korea Her­ald news­pa­per.

AP

In­creas­ingly ag­gres­sive Kim Jong-un has a his­tory of go­ing to ex­treme mea­sures to shore up his reign over North Korea

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