North Korea capital ‘under lockdown’ amid rumours of threat to Kim Jong-un
Travel ban triggers renewed speculation about stability of regime of Kim Jong-un
The North Korean capital has been placed under lockdown, according to sources with Pyongyang, raising new questions about the stability of Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Quoting sources within North Korea, the respected New Focus International news web site has reported that a ban on new travel passes to leave or enter Pyongyang was introduced on September 27.
And while the North Korean authorities have in the past limited access to the capital, the latest restrictions even apply to permanent residents of Pyongyang, who are by definition the elite of the regime.
“This sort of action suggests there has either been an attempted coup or that the authorities there have uncovered some sort of plot against the leadership,” Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University and an authority on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph.
“If it is a military-backed coup, then the situation in Pyongyang will be very dangerous and I have heard reports that Kim has been moved out of the capital,” he said.