North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Photograph:( AFP )
From assassinations to illegal drug labs, a North Korean military official has revealed details about the most secretive nation under Kim Jong-un’s leadership.
A top military commander from North Korea has spoke out about the most secretive nation under Kim Jong-un's rule, from killings to illegal drug labs.
Kim Kuk-song told the BBC in an exclusive interview that he spent 30 years working his way through the ranks of North Korea's formidable espionage organisations, which were the "eyes, ears, and brains of the Supreme Leader."
Kuk-song said he guarded the administration's secrets, dispatched assassins to assassinate its enemies, and even set up an illicit narcotics lab to assist earn "revolutionary finances."
Also read | Why is North Korea obsessed with missiles?
Kuk-song left North Korea in 2014, and he has been residing in Seoul and cooperating with South Korean intelligence since then.
In an interview with a British news channel, he stated that North Korea's leadership is eager for money in any way imaginable.
Watch | Gravitas: After raising hopes for peace, North Korea tests another missile
He even disclosed the plan behind Pyongyang's decision and the regime's strike on South Korea.
He stated that North Korea's espionage and cyber networks can extend all the way across the world.
He paints a picture of a North Korean government starving for money, from drug dealings to weapons sales in the Middle East and Africa.
Also Read | North Korea may have staged night-time military parade: Report
He discussed Pyongyang's decision-making method, the regime's attacks on South Korea, and accusations that the secretive country's espionage and cyber networks may extend all the way around the world.
North Korea's suspected illicit operations include the manufacturing and sale of illegal narcotics, the manufacture and sale of counterfeit consumer products, people trafficking, weapons trafficking, wildlife trafficking, currency counterfeiting, terrorism, and other sectors.
Many of these activities are alleged to be directed and controlled by the North Korean government and the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, with the proceeds going towards advancing the country's nuclear and conventional arms production, funding the lifestyles of the country's elite, and bolstering the North Korean economy.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un has recently begun a crackdown on South Korean pop culture, including movies, K-dramas, and K-pop videos.
North Korean officials have also made 'non-socialist' hairstyles such as the spike and mullet, as well as coloured hair, illegal.
As part of the new regulations, men and women can only wear one of the 215 authorised haircuts.
(With inputs from agencies)