Kim Jong-Un aide 'faces hard labour or even execution' for white stain
Kim Jong-Un aide ‘faces hard labour or even execution’ after North Korean leader was spotted with mysterious white stains on his clothes at a missile launch
- Expert on North Korean elite fears staff will be punished for failing to protect him
- Read more: N Korea is ‘close to mounting nuclear warheads on tactical missiles’
A North Korean bodyguard faces the wrath of Kim Jong-un after the leader was spotted with mysterious white stains on his clothes at a missile launch.
The dictator was photographed last week inspecting the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) thought to be capable of reaching the US.
However, propaganda pictures of the occasion captured strange white stains on his coat at the wrist and waist and another on his suit jacket near the buttons.
While it appears Jong-Un may have scuffed his clothes on wet paint, it is feared that his staff will be punished for failing to protect him.
Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean elite, said those responsible faced demotions or hard labour, but execution could not be ruled out.
Kim Jong-un seen with a mysterious white stain on his clothes at a missile launch
Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean elite, said it is most likely paint that caused the stains
‘Personnel who have irritated the supreme leader are usually punished with demotions, hardship assignments or labour education’, he said.
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‘It is unlikely that anyone will get shot over something like this – unless the leader is feeling particularly mercurial.
‘But if he got angry about this then a few people will probably get sent to a construction site or a farm for a month or two to think about this minor transgression.’
He continued: ‘It is not unheard of to be sent away for execution. There are accounts of the leader’s father, Kim Jong-il, having bodyguards and members of his personal staff sent to prisons and in one case to the firing squad for very minor offenses.
‘One unconfirmed story is that a member of his personal staff sat at his desk and smoked one of his cigarettes. Kim Jong-il discovered this and had the man shot.’
Mr Madden, who runs the North Korea Leadership Watch website, said that those responsible might write a letter of apology to minimise their punishment.
But he said it was also possible that Jong-Un lets it slide ‘since he is far less prone to mood swings and problems with emotional regulation than his father’.
In any case, the analyst agreed that wet paint was the ‘most likely culprit’ for the stains.
The North Korean leader was inspecting the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile, which is thought to be capable of reaching the US
Mr Madden says personnel who have irritated the supreme leader are ‘usually punished with demotions, hardship assignments or labour education’
‘It appears to be white paint,’ he said.
‘Did Kim Jong-un not bring an extra jacket with him? Perhaps they had renovated the observation building prior to this ICBM event, repainting a wall or a doorway, and he swiped some wet paint when he arrived.
‘A mistake any of us could make and have made. If that was the case, then it was Kim’s fault for not noticing the wet paint, but also some blame would be apportioned to his lead bodyguard or his personal assistant for not warning him.’
There were other possible explanations for the stains too.
He added: ‘One of my colleagues suggested it could be chalk dust if they used a blackboard during the missile drill – sometimes they bring in visual aids for Kim’s events.
‘They may well have brought one in to illustrate technical information and demonstrate various equations and data concerning missile ranges, detonations, speed, etc.’
But the exact cause may never be known.
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