The National Intelligence Service and military are at odds over North Korea's official account that Kim Jong-il died at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday aboard his armored train while on the way to one of his on-the-spot inspection tours. NIS Director Won Sei-hoon told the National Assembly Intelligence Committee Kim's personal train sat in a station in Pyongyang from Friday to Sunday.
"We confirmed through U.S. satellite surveillance photos that Kim's personal train was stationary in Pyongyang," he added. Intelligence source said there are no signs that the train moved that day.
"We kept tabs on Kim's whereabouts until Thursday but could not locate him starting Friday," Won said. "There are signs that he tried to go somewhere [on Saturday morning] but died" shortly before. One NIS official said, "We believe he died at home."
But military officials said they think Kim's train did travel between Friday and Sunday. "We can determine which trains traveled through which stations using our intelligence network," an officer said. "Based on that intelligence, we have concluded that the train did move."
Kim's personal train has about 20 carriages, and the U.S. and South Korea track its movement via satellite. The discrepancy in accounts has lead to concerns that South Korea's top security agencies are still unable to coordinate their efforts despite attempts earlier this year to improve information-sharing about North Korea.