Disputing circumstances of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death, South Korean intelligence has said that the leader did not travel by train the day he died.
North Korea is moving fast to consolidate its new leader Kim Jong-un, with senior military officials already having pledged allegiance, the South's intelligence service believes. It also disputed the official account of Kim Jong-il''s death, telling MPs in Seoul he could not have died en route to a visit because his train had been stationary all weekend.
Officials suggested the account could have been created to burnish his image as a Dear Leader devoted to his people, The Guardian reports. In Seoul, Won Sei-hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), said there was no sign that Kim's special train ever left Pyongyang station over the weekend. He cited US satellite surveillance photos.
"We kept tabs on Kim's whereabouts until Thursday but could not locate him starting Friday. There are signs that he tried to go somewhere [on Saturday morning] but died," added Won, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. An unnamed intelligence official added: "We believe he died at home."