SEOUL, March 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Rumors surrounding the recent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother, in Malaysia are quickly spreading by mouth in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, the leader of a group of North Korean defectors here said Friday.
“Pyongyang citizens are in a rage as the rumors of Kim’s murder have reached them via North Korean officials working abroad,” Kim Heung-kwang, head of the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS) in Seoul, said.
The NKIS official elaborated on the response to the assassination based on a phone conversation with his North Korean acquaintance who made a business trip to Beijing earlier this week.
Pyongyang residents in their 50s and 60s know well of Kim Jong-nam, who had been once considered the successor to power, although they do not know about current leader Kim Jong-un’s real brother, Kim Jong-chol, the official said.
“They think the murder of the eldest grandson of North Korea founder Kim Il-sung and the eldest son of the late leader Kim Jong-il is a thing that cannot happen,” he said.
People thought that Jang Song-thaek deserved death for being a reactionary when he was executed by his own niece Kim Jong-un in 2013.
“But this time people are enraged by Kim Jong-un’s murder of his own brother,” he said.
A North Korean defector, who once worked in the North Korean Cabinet, also said every citizen in Pyongyang learned about the assassination in less than 10 days after it took place.