Prague, March 6 (CTK) – Czech security forces focus on the protection of the North Korean ambassador to Prague, Kim Pyong-il, a member of the ruling Kim dynasty whose life may be in danger, in connection with the recent murder of a half-brother of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un, Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.
Kim Pyong-il is Kim Jong-un’s uncle. He is a son of former dictator Kim Il-sung and a half-brother of his successor Kim Jong-il, the daily writes.
Last month, Kim Jong-un’s half-brother and a former Pyongyang regime prominent Kim Jong-nam was murdered in Malaysia. The murder might have been motivated by North Korea’s effort to eliminate a bothersome member of the Kim dynasty, LN writes.
Czech security forces are discussing the threat of a possible attack on Kim Pyong-il in Prague, because he, too, is one of the direct offspring of the founding father of the North Korean regime and some mention him as a potential successor to Kim Jong-un, the paper writes.
“Of course, this is a problem. However, it is hardly possible to guard a foreign diplomat incessantly,” a high-ranking source from the security services told the daily.
Czech police said North Korean diplomats enjoy standard protection.
“For tactical and security reasons, we cannot release any details in this respect,” the paper quotes Police Presidium’s spokeswoman Eva Kropacova as saying.
According to The Korean Herald newspaper, a group of emigrants have asked Kim Pyong-il to lead an exile government, LN writes.
Experts consider Kim Pyong-il another possible target of North Korea’s attack, since Kim Jong-un might want to eliminate everything that may threaten his governance, The Korean Herald wrote, cited by LN.
Requesting anonymity, a Czech diplomat told LN that the north Korean ambassador mostly stays at the embassy and refrains from roaming around Prague.
However, not even a reduction of public appearances may protect the diplomat, LN writes.
“The question is where he faces a bigger danger. He may slip in his residence, may get allergic to some food or manipulate with a wrongly earthed electric kettle,” a source from the security forces told LN.
In the Czech Republic, a special police unit, the protection service, is responsible for foreign diplomats’ security. It ensures the protection of embassies, for example.
However, if a foreign secret service planned a murder attack in the Czech Republic, it would be up to the Czech counter-intelligence BIS to tackle the issue, the daily writes.
The Czech Foreign Ministry registers no immediate danger threatening the North Korean ambassador, its spokeswoman told LN.
Kim Pyong-il has started his diplomatic career in the former Yugoslavia in 1979. Nine years later, he became the ambassador to Hungary and later gradually to Bulgaria and Finland. Before his arrival in Prague in 2015, he was the ambassador to Poland for 15 years.
In the North Koreans’ eyes, Kim Pyong-il strongly resembles his father Kim Il-sung, the founder of the dictatorship regime, which means a considerable political “capital” in the country where the cult of the great founding-father persists, LN writes.