North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is reportedly so terrified of being targeted for assassination that he travels incognito inside the Hermit Kingdom, and there’s growing evidence his paranoia may be well-founded.
The 33-year-old, third-generation ruler is “extremely nervous” about a clandestine plot to take him out, according to a key South Korean lawmaker who spoke to The Korea Herald. Rep. Lee Cheol-woo, chairman of the South Korean parliament's intelligence committee, made the claim based on reports from South Korea's intelligence agency.
“Kim is engrossed with collecting information about the ‘decapitation operation’ through his intelligence agencies,” Lee said following a briefing last week.
The rumored “decapitation plan” to target Kim and key deputies in the event fighting broke out on the peninsula first surfaced in late 2015, when the U.S. and South Korea signed “Operation Plan 5015,” a joint strategy for possible war scenarios with North Korea. According to the Brookings Institute, the plan "envisions limited warfare with an emphasis on preemptive strikes on strategic targets in North Korea and “decapitation raids” to exterminate North Korean leaders."
Something about the term “decapitation” seems to have gotten the attention of the gout-addled, unpredictable and violent dictator. According to Lee, Kim’s is so frightened that he now disguises his movements, travels primarily at dawn and in the cars of his henchmen. Public appearances and jaunts in his prized Mercedes Benz 600 have been curtailed.
By January of this year, there were reports that South Korea was speeding up the creation of a specialized unit designed for this mission, initially slated to be ready by 2019.