Alleged coup attempt against North Korean leader in Pyongyang

Kim Jong-un surrounded by generalsBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
A prolonged exchange of gunfire that took place in the North Korean capital last November was part of a failed military coup against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to intelligence sources. On Wednesday, South Korean daily JoongAng Ilbo quoted an anonymous intelligence source in Seoul, who said the coup was linked to an ongoing power struggle unfolding inside the North Korean armed forces. The unnamed source told the paper that Seoul had confirmed the accuracy of rumors of an “armed skirmish” that took place at a central location in downtown Pyongyang in mid-November of 2012. The exchange of gunfire, which stunned residents of the eerily ordered city, was allegedly an effort to assassinate Kim, but failed after the assailants were rounded up and arrested by troops loyal to the country’s leadership. The culprits appear to be members of the Reconnaissance Bureau of the General Staff Department, which operates as the primary intelligence-collection agency of North Korea’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. In early November of last year, the Reconnaissance Bureau was restructured to accommodate two newly amalgamated intelligence agencies, the Intelligence Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea and a combat-intelligence unit of the People’s Armed Forces. A number of North Korean generals, who were previously leading these amalgamated agencies, were demoted to reflect their new posts under the Reconnaissance Bureau. Among them was Kim Yong-chol, who saw his rank change overnight from a four-star general to that of a two-star lieutenant general. According to JoongAng Ilbo, the demotion prompted Kim and a number of disgruntled military intelligence officers in his inner circle to issue a challenge for control of the reorganized Reconnaissance Bureau. The power-struggle allegedly got out of hand and resulted in an all-out gun battle in the streets of the North Korean capital. Interestingly, in the past few months, Kim —a notorious foreign-policy hardliner, who is often quoted in the media urging war against the South— appears to have been reinstated to his previous four-star general status. JoongAng Ilbo says that he was even seen in February attending a musical performance in Pyongyang, sitting right next to leader Kim Jong-un. The paper adds that South Korean intelligence agencies are still trying to identify the identities of the individuals involved in last November’s alleged coup.

9 Responses to Alleged coup attempt against North Korean leader in Pyongyang

  1. delcinabro says:

    Single source. No details on whodunnit. Joongang has been overreaching these days.

  2. I have heard it all now, misinformation from western intelligence trying to stir up disunity and division through rumour, a couple of soldiers drunk on illegal alcoholic moonshine who then fired their guns, does not equate to a coup does it now?

  3. mopsie says:

    With all the spying and technology, I’m surprised that so little is known of NKorea. I think the spies get confused by the fact that everybody is named ‘Kim’.

  4. Mike says:

    @carlclark. You appear to me to be less of an “intelligence freelancer” than someone who has a political agenda or a beef. Perhaps you don’t. But that is the perception.

    Can you elaborate on why you believe it was drunken soldiers cracking off rounds?

  5. Pete says:

    Yes. It is but a fabrication of capitalist CIA classes that our latest helmsman Kim would suffer splittists.

  6. Mike says:

    Ah, got it. There was NO conspiracy in NK but there IS one in the US, based upon your vast network of sources. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Sarcasm aside, please label your opinions as your analysis, and not tout them as fact. Unless, of course, you can cite specific facts. It might make the objective readers of this site take you more seriously.

  7. Hi Mike, you are right in what you are saying, anyone could put their own views in as fact, there was a documented incident where several rounds were fired last year, the perpetrators were dealt with and their superiors were then hauled in front of their peers with some being demoted, it does sound like the same incident but like you say I have no concrete proof that it is the same one, as for conspiracies there are only truth and lies, sometimes its hard to get to the bottom of incidents in countries like Syria, Iran or NK we do rely on those on the inside and sometimes they have their own agenda as I have found out in the past, where information has been given to me which is a fabrication or is meant as misinformation to cloud the issues.
    I do value your input and look forward to other posts or replies or information that can be used in analysing situations in closed countries, Carl.

  8. Harry Mahan says:

    Interesting case in support if the company getting out of the box and getting their sniper lisc back, like Now, you’all catch my drift? Oh, and I’d just like to say just like the bomb that saved Daddy from being in the first tank assault on Japan from the PI, we might save millions and the atmosphere ALL around the Whole world if the dagger came back. See you’all later…

  9. Lex Loeb says:

    North Korean Generals should be plotting a coup. If first you don’t succeed keep trying. For every North Korean tunnel alleged to go under the DMZ there is a deeper wider one below controlled by the south.

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