Kim Jong-un's Security Beefed up After Abe Assassination

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    August 01, 2022 12:52

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seems to have beefed up his personal security since the assassination last month of former Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe.
    Kim is now always flanked by bodyguards, which is a new development. "Bodyguards generally stand at distance because the propaganda effect of a photo decreases when they can be seen," a source said. "The new development shows that special circumstances require a sacrifice."
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) is flanked by bodyguards at an event honoring veteran soldiers in Pyongyang on July 28, in this photo from the [North] Korean Central News Agency the following day.
    But Kim's regime is under pressure amid a failing economy and border lockdowns that are reportedly causing starvation in some parts of the crackpot country.
    At an event honoring veteran soldiers in Pyongyang last week, Kim was flanked by a phalanx of bodyguards. The last time bodyguards surrounded him was when he took power in 2012.
    "Kim Jong-un sought the protection of bodyguards in 2012 because he was anxious about his weak grip on power. Now his authority has been damaged by economic problems caused by prolonged sanctions and the coronavirus lockdown, so he probably feels threatened," another source said.
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