After several weeks of many discussions, to get an interview with him. He still worries about the audience, and that’s why he wears his camera with dark glasses. Only two of our team know what his real name is.
Mr. Kim spent thirty years working his way to the top of North Korea’s powerful spy agencies. The agencies were the eyes, ears, and brain of the Supreme Leader, he says. He claims he kept his secrets, sent assassins to kill his critics, and even built an illegal drug lab to help raise groundbreaking funds.
Speaking to the BBC, the former senior colonel has decided to tell his story. It is the first time that such a high-ranking military officer from Pyongyang has interviewed a significant broadcaster.
In an exclusive interview, he says that Kim was the reddest of the reds, a faithful communist. He also said about kim’s North Korea high-profile defector too. But both rank and loyalty don’t have a guarantee for your safety in North Korea. So in 2014, he had to leave the country for his life, and he lived in Seoul. Also, he worked for South Korean intelligence.
A Terrorist Task Force
In later years Kim worked in North Korea’s central intelligence unit and offered insight into the initial career of Kim Jong-un, the current leader. He draws a portrait of a young man, eager to prove his worth to be a fighter.
North Korea instituted a new spy agency called the General Reconnaissance Office in 2009. It was just as Kim Jong-un groomed to succeed his father, who had suffered a stroke. The bureau’s head was Kim Yong-Chol, and he remains one of the North Korean leaders who are most committed.
In May 209, The colonel said that order came up the chain of command to form a terrorist task force to kill a former North Korean official who had defected to the South. It was an act to satisfy the supreme leader (his father), Kim says that for Kim Jong-un.
Some people formed A ‘Terror Force’ to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop secretly. He directed and fulfilled the work. Once Hwang Jang-yop was one of the most powerful officials in North Korea. He played a key architect of North Korean politics, and he never forgave his defection to the South in 1997. Once in Seoul, he was highly critical of the administration and the Kim family seeking revenge.
But the assassination attempt went awry. Two North Korean army commanders continue to serve 10-year prison terms in Seoul for the plot. Pyongyang always denied being involved and claimed that South Korea had organized the attempt.
Mr. Kim’s testimony would suggest otherwise.
He explained that the political tool in North Korea that protects the highest dignity of both Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un is terrorism. Also, he added that it was a gift to show the loyalty of the successors to all his great leaders.
More came at that time. A year later, in 2010, the Navy ship belonging to South Korea, the Cheonan, sank after being hit by a torpedo. 46 lives were lost in that incident, and Pyongyang has consistently denied its involvement.
Then, in November of that year, dozens of North Korean artillery shells struck the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. Unfortunately, they killed Two soldiers and two civilians.
There has been much debate about who gave the order for that attack. Mr. Kim said that he was not directly involved in the operations on Cheonan Island or Yeonpyeong. But they were not a secret from RGB officials, and he treated with pride something to brag about them.
And those operations wouldn’t have happened without orders from above, he says.
In the interview, he added that in under of kim’s North Korea high-profile defector, even when building a road, it cannot do it without the direct approval of the Supreme Leader. The Cheonan sinking and the bombing of Yeonpyeong Island is not something that subordinates can make.
This type of military work is designed and implemented by special orders from Kim Jong-un. It is an achievement.
It describes a North Korean leadership desperate to make cash by any means possible, from drug deals to arms sales in the Middle East and Africa. He said something about the strategy behind the decisions made in Pyongyang, the regime’s attacks on South Korea. And it affirmed that the spying and cyber networks of the secret country could reach the whole world.
The BBC cannot independently verify his claims. Still, we have succeeded in substantiating his allegations in verifying his identity. Where possible, we found evidence to substantiate rightly. We have not so far received any response from the North Korean embassy in London. And the mission in New York to request a statement, even though we contacted each other.
Spy In The Blue House
When Kim was a spy, he says his responsibilities in the North were to develop strategies to deal with South Korea. The goal was political subordination.
He affirms that there are many cases where he ordered spies to go to South Korea and conducted operational missions through them in many cases.
He doesn’t elaborate, but he gives us an intriguing example.
There was a case regarding sending a North Korean agent, and he worked in the Presidential Office in South Korea. However, he came back to North Korea safely. That happened in the early 1990s. After working for the Blue House (South Korea’s Presidential Office), he returned safely for five-six years. He worked in the Labor Party office at 314 Liaison.
He told us about how North Korean operatives play an active role in several civil society organizations of South Korea. And also about the role in South Korea’s important institutions.
The BBC has nothing to do with the way of verifying this claim.
He has met many convicted North Korean spies in South Korea. Filled jails with South Korean prisons with dozens of North Korean spies arrested over decades for various types of spy work.
A few incidents have continued to occur, and at least one involved a spy sent directly from the North. But data from NK News suggests that far fewer people have been arrested in South Korea for espionage-related crimes since 2017. They observed that the North turned to new technologies, rather than outdated spies, for intelligence gathering.
Maybe North Korea is one of the poorest and most isolated countries in the world. Still, previous high-profile defector of Kim’s North Korea have warned that Pyongyang has built an army of 6,000 skilled hackers.
According to Kim, Kim Jong-il, the former North Korean leader, ordered the training of new personnel in the 1980s to prepare for cyber warfare.
He says that the brightest students selected by Moranbong University from across the country gave them six years of special education.
British security officials believed that a North Korean unit known as the Lazarus Group was behind a cyberattack that paralyzed parts of the NHS and other organizations around the world during 2017. People believe that the same group is to have targeted Sony Pictures prominently and hack in 2014.
Kim says the office attached to the General Survey Office was known as the 414 Liaison Office. He added that, internally, they call it the Kim Jong-il Information Center. It claims it was the only office with a direct phone line to the North Korean leader.
People say that these agents are in countries such as China, Russia, and Southeast Asia, but they also operate in North Korea. The office also protects communication between North Korean spy agents.
Drugs For Dollars
Kim Jong-un recently announced that the country might once again be facing a crisis. In April, he asked his people to prepare for another arduous march, which describes a disastrous famine during the decade 1990, under the direction of Kim. Jong-il.
At the time, Mr. Kim was in the Operations Department and assigned to raise revolutionary funds for the Supreme Leader. That, he says, means dealing with illegal drugs. He says that Kim Jong-il’s drug production in North Korea peaked during the Hard March. He also says that, at that time, the Operations Department ran out of groundbreaking funds for their Supreme Leader.
He mentioned that after assigned tasks to him, he brought three foreigners from abroad to North Korea. To build a production base in the training center of the 715 Liaison Office of the Workers’ Party and produce drugs.
It was ICE (crystal meth). Then we could convert it into dollars to present it to Kim Jong-il.
Your account of the drug trade at this point is plausible. North Korea has a long history of producing drugs, mainly heroin and opium. A former North Korean diplomat in the UK, Thae Yong-ho, also defected. And they were trying to fix a national epidemic of widespread drug addiction.
The interviewer asked Mr. Kim about the drug money. And how is it converted into cash for those people? He says simply that all the money in North Korea belongs to the North Korean leaders. They would build villas, buy cars, food, clothes and enjoy the luxuries with that money.
Estimates of the death toll from prolonged food shortages in North Korea in the 1990s range from several thousand to up to a million people. Another source of income, according to Kim, came from the illegal sale of weapons to Iran, managed by the Operations Department.
He says that There were unique dwarf submarines, semi-submersibles. North Korea was very good at building edgy equipment like this. As its submarines have noisy diesel engines, North Korean propaganda has maybe a bit. However, Kim claims the deals were so successful that deputy director North Korea in Iran would brag about gathering Iranians to his pool to do business.
According to Professor Andrei Lankov, one of the world’s leading authorities on North Korea. North Korea’s arms deals with Iran have been an open secret since the 1980s and even included ballistic missiles.
Even if subject to strict international sanctions, North Korea always continued to develop weapons of mass destruction. In September, the country tested four new weapons systems, including a new long-range cruise missile, a training launch system for a ballistic missile, a hypersonic missile, and an anti-aircraft missile.
Technology is getting more and more sophisticated. According to Kim, Pyongyang also sold weapons and technology to countries waging long civil wars. The United Nations has denounced North Korea supplying weapons to Syria, Myanmar, Libya, and Sudan.
On the other side, the UN warns that weapons developed in Pyongyang may lead to many troubled corners of the world.
A Loyal Servant Betrayed
Kim led a happy life in North Korea. He said that Kim Jong-un’s aunt gave him a Mercedes-Benz car to use, and also she allowed him to travel freely abroad to raise money for the North Korean leader. He also mentioned that he sold rare metals and coal to raise millions in cash, which would return to the country in a suitcase.
In a destitute country where millions of people struggle with food shortages, this is a life few can imagine, let alone live. He said that Kim’s powerful political connections over marriage allowed him to move among different intelligence agencies. However, those same connections also put him and his family in danger.
Soon after he took the political throne in 2011, Kim Jong-un decided to kill those he thought threatened, including his uncle, Jang Song-thaek. It suggested that Jang was the defector leader of North Korea for a long time, as Kim Jong-il’s health faded. After Jang downfall, Kim’s high-profile defector is raised in North Korea as strong leader.
Kim thought that Jang Song-thaek’s name had become more popular than Kim Jong-un’s.He says that it was then that he felt that Jang Song-thaek would not last long. Also, he felt like they would banish him to the countryside.
Although North Korean state media announced in December 2013 that executing Mr. Jang. Kim said that he was beyond shocked, it was a fatal blow, and he was shocked. He felt his life was in danger immediately, and he came to know that it was safer in North Korea for him.
When Mr. Kim was abroad, he read in a newspaper about the execution. Then he decided to make a plan to leave North Korea with his family to go to South Korea. He says that leaving his country, where his ancestor’s grave was built, and his family living and escaping to South Korea, which at that time was a foreign land for him. It was the worst decision of emotional and painful anguish.
The reporter said that he could see that Kim’s memory is difficult even behind his dark glasses. The only question the reporter keeps asking during their many meetings, for many hours, is why he decided to speak now. He says that this is the only duty he can fulfill. He adds that he would be more active from now on to free his brothers in the North from the clutches of the dictatorship and so that they can enjoy true freedom.
More than 30,000 fugitives in South Korea, and only a few decide to speak to the media. The higher your profile, the greater the risk for you and your family. Many in South Korea doubt the defectors’ accounts of their lives. After all, how can anyone indeed verify their stories?
Mr. Kim lived a very unusual life there. His account should be read based on North Korean history, not as a whole. But his story gives us a glimpse into a regime that few can escape, and it tells us something about making for the system to survive. He says that everything which belongs to North Korean political society follows the conviction of total obedience to the Supreme Leader. For generations, it produces a loyal heart especially about kim’s high-profile defector in North Korea.
The timing of this interview is also impressive. Kim Jong-un has hinted that he might talk to South Korea shortly if certain conditions are met. Mr. Kim offers a warning again there also. He says that It has been years since he came here, but North Korea has not changed because of Kim’s high-profile defector. He further says that the strategy they established continues. What he needs to know is that North Korea has not changed 0.01%.