Regime tightened control over key personnel prior to US-NK summit
Prior to his departure to Singapore for the historic US-NK summit, Kim Jong Un took measures to reduce the possibility of a political crisis during his absence, taking several drastic preventive measures including the confiscation of mobile phones from high-ranking officials.
“Kim Jong Un placed the country in heavy lockdown before leaving for the talks with the United States to prevent subversion, in other words, a political crisis that would threaten his rule,” a source in Hamgyong Province told Daily NK by phone on June 19.
“Kim Jong Un took the Command No. 1 Chiefs of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces with him to Singapore because he believed that they could potentially mobilize the armed forces and plot against him. This was interpreted as an extreme measure to eliminate any possibility of anti-political groups plotting a revolt during his absence.”
No Kwang Chol, the newly-appointed Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, was seen on camera in uniform several times during Kim’s visit to Singapore. This was considered unusual, as Kim was not accompanied by military figures for his two previous visits to China.
“Before Kim left for Singapore, he dispatched personnel from the Ministry of State Security to all companies under military units to keep them under surveillance. As a result, all military officers and personnel in North Korea were only to follow the orders given by the Ministry of State Security from the moment Kim departed the country, and had to live under heavy restrictions during the summit period,” the source said.......