hyesan leaker bribe elderly smuggling gold
A view of Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, in August 2018. / Image: Daily NK

An alleged leaker of information about Kim Jong Un’s visit to Samjiyon last October was executed in Pyongyang in late December, Daily NK has learned. 

In mid-October, North Korean authorities conducted a massive operation to identify the leaker of Kim’s October visit to Samjiyon. North Korean security authorities viewed the leak as a major breach of the regime’s security network because news of Kim’s visit was reported in South Korean media before being published in state media. 

The director of the Hyesan office of the Ministry of State Security (MSS), North Korea’s main security agency, reportedly planned to resign in the wake of the leak, but Daily NK sources report he is still in office.

The suspected leaker was arrested in November by MSS officials and sent to Pyongyang for interrogation.

Daily NK sources reported that the suspect was then quietly executed at an MSS detention center in Pyongyang a month later – right before the start of the 5th plenary session of the 7th Central Committee on Dec. 28. 

Normally, an investigation into such a serious leak case would have taken six months; Daily NK sources speculated that North Korean prosecutors were keen to quickly carry out the execution given the important nature of the case.

The family of the executed suspected leaker was exiled to Kapsan, Ryanggang Province, one source added. 

*Translated by Gabriela Bernal

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Ha Yoon Ah is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about her articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.