North Korean Elite Openly Expressing Discontent, Says Elite Defector
A North Korean defector claims North Korean elite are openly expressing their discontent towards Kim Jong Un. Kim’s erratic behavior paired with the country’s failing economic system have the country’s top officials to do the unthinkable: openly criticize the totalitarian leader.
Thae Yong-ho is the most senior official to defect since 1997. He escaped the oppressive regime last August, fleeing to South Korea with his wife and two sons. He has been revealing insider information about the country and has confirmed that many North Koreans, of all socio-economic levels, are becoming discontent with the country’s failing economic system.
“Low-level dissent or criticism of the regime, until recently unthinkable, is becoming more frequent,” said Thae, who spoke in fluent, British-accented English. “We have to spray gasoline on North Korea, and let the North Korean people set fire to it.”
Citizens rely on a trade-based system of black market traders for food and other necessities. Thae claims even high ranking officials like himself are becoming more outspoken among the ranks.
“When Kim Jong-un first came to power, I was hopeful that he would make reasonable and rational decisions to save North Korea from poverty, but I soon fell into despair watching him purging officials for no proper reasons,” he said.
He went on to say that other high ranking North Korean diplomats are planning to defect.