A South Korean parliament member, one Ha Jae-keung of the majority Saenuri Party, called for the removal of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un Friday, in a radio interview in Seoul.
Tensions between the neighboring countries have increased since the beginning of 2016, as North Korea has resumed ballistic missile testing in violation of UN resolutions. Kim also ejected South Korean businesses from the Kaesong Industrial Complex — located six miles north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone — and confiscated their assets, after Seoul ordered all of the South Korean-based companies to leave.
South Korea’s government suspected that the $100 million per year it was investing on North Korean labor at the Complex was being used to finance Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
A former senior diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Seoul called the industrial park, “the last remaining thread of North-South cooperation . . . (and) the final vestige of a policy of engagement that once held out hope for the transformation of North Korea.”
In the interview, Mr. Ha also predicted that Kim will start a nuclear war by the early-2020s, and called for the assassination to be carried out within the next few years.
“Everybody will be happy if Kim Jong-un is removed,” said Ha. “(He) is a criminal. Getting rid of a criminal is appropriate and does not violate international laws.”
Ha also stated his preference for Kim’s ouster to be coordinated by the international community, particularly with the backing of the U.S. and Japan.
If South Korea is seriously considering an assassination attempt on North Korea’s supreme leader, it is not unprecedented in history: in 1968, Seoul was planning on taking out then-North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, after Pyongyang tried to kill South Korean president Park Chung-hee.
Ultimately, the plot was aborted.
[Yonhap] [The Independent]