Kim Jong-un has been under the spotlight in recent days after the world’s media speculated over his health amid a 21-day disappearance. But this has also reignited talk of the violence and oppression taking place in North Korea. Numerous defectors have fled the country, sharing their stories of how they escaped one of the most secretive and authoritative nations on Earth.
In 2015, an unnamed refugee from North Korea who “worked among the elites” in Pyongyang revealed the tyrannical nature of Kim’s regime.
In the interview with CNN, he stressed that “revealing much more than these few details could endanger his family, still trapped in the Hermit Kingdom.
“He also fears North Korea could manage to hunt him down in his new life. But he’s talking to me to get a message to the West out.”
The defector predicted that Kim will fall, saying: “It is Kim Jong-un’s regime that is the most unstable. And it is going to be the shortest.”
Kim’s father didn’t go on a “murderous rampage”, the defector said.
However, he warned that the current leader has done the opposite, purging his inner circle.
In 2013, the country’s news agency confirmed that Kim had removed his own uncle from meetings and accused him of forming factions against the state, corruption and “depraved” acts such as womanising and drug abuse.
He then had his uncle executed as he was accused of plotting against Kim’s regime.
Kim’s half brother was also killed in 2017 in what was allegedly a state-backed assassination.
Kim Jong-nam was the heir apparent for the leadership in the country until he fell out of favour in 2001.
This occured after he embarrassed the regime with a failed attempt to visit Tokyo Disneyland with a false passport, although Kim Jong-nam himself said his loss of favour had been due to advocating reform.
After leaving North Korea in 2003, Kim Jong-nam became a critic of his family’s dynasty.
In 2012, Kim Jong-nam claimed Kim Jong-un was “a joke to the outside world”.
He added that his half brother would be “just a nominal figure” and that “the members of the power elite will be the ones in actual power”.
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The defector who spoke to CNN in 2015 also predicted the downfall of Kim.
He said: “I can tell you for sure, the North Korean regime will collapse within 10 years.
“Kim Jong Un is mistaken that he can control his people and maintain his regime by executing his enemies.
“There’s fear among high officials that at any time, they can be targets. The general public will continue to lose their trust in him as a leader by witnessing him being willing to kill his own uncle.
“There is no collapse of North Korea while Kim Jong-un is alive. We can only expect the opening or reform of North Korea when Kim Jong Un is removed by an external power.
“North Korea will not collapse as long as Kim Jong-un lives.”
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