Taiwan’s intelligence chief said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sick — according to accounts from special agents, and information from diplomatic allies and that his country has emergency plans for a potential power struggle if he dies.
During a meeting of the Legislative Yuan on Thursday, the Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) director General Chiu Kuo-cheng gave a presentation on the status of the national intelligence work and the international situation amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as reported by CNA.
Chiu said that after reviewing media reports, accounts from special agents, and information from diplomatic allies, it is possible that China is looking to create a conflict. However, he emphasized that China’s military has always been very conservative and that it currently appears to be wanting to emphasize that it has not been affected by the epidemic.
Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Lo Chih-cheng then asked Chiu if there were any contingency plans in the event there was a power vacuum in North Korea after Kim’s death. Chiu responded that the NSB is at the ready.
KMT Chairman Chiang Chi-chen asked if Chiu could provide more detailed information about the situation in North Korea. Chiu responded that the NSB has relevant information but can only divulge it behind closed doors because if it were discussed publicly, the source could be compromised.
Chiu also pointed out that according to the findings of the NSB’s study of the communist country, no matter how turbulent the political situation may be, there might be a short period of integration and struggle. As to whether there would be large-scale military mobilization, he emphasized that North Korea is very closed off, with nuclear bombs, missiles, and other armaments.
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Chiu said that If there is a “situation,” not only Taiwan but also South Korea and Japan would be in the scope of areas affected.
There are unquestionably those who would be looking at Kim Jong Un’s vanishing act opportunistically. However, one must be wary that North Korea without Kim may further destabilize the volatile region in the ensuing power struggle.
One cannot rule out even successive military coupes as a possibility. Not to mention, the nuclear missiles and warheads could become a trophy with the lower level militia. However, the ultimate prize is North Korea’s estimated $6 trillion of natural resources within its borders.
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