North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un might soon be shunted out of power by his own party men as he seems to be losing their favour, a man who defected from the country to South has reportedly said.
Kim Jong-un has been in power since 2011 following his father's death, but over the years, instead of gaining loyalists, his rule has reportedly seen a growing distrust among the elites in Pyongyang.
After being elected as the supreme leader of the country in 2012, Jong-un "tried his best" to improve his following in the country.
The North Korean defector, who used to be among the elite in Pyongyang, told CNN: "...Kim Jong Un's regime that is the most unstable. And it is going to be the shortest."
The defector noted that in December 2013, after the regime executed Kim Jong Un's uncle and second most powerful leader in North Korea--Jang Song Thaek--the distrust become even more palpable.
In a lengthy charge-sheet, North Korea referred to the former second-in-command as "despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him". Jang was executed by a machine gun firing squad.
"I can tell you for sure the North Koreans who are in the upper middle class don't trust Kim Jong un. I was thinking about leaving North Korea for a long time. After seeing the execution of Jang, I thought, 'I need to hurry up and leave this hell on earth.' That's why I defected," the defector said, adding, "They are terrified. The fear grows more intense every day."
The execution of Jang, which was followed by a purge extended to Jang's family, with all his relatives, including children, being rounded up and executed, South Korean news agency Yonhap had reported. The execution of Jang's nephew O Sang-hon was even more brutal as he was burnt alive with a flamethrower.
The series of purge has instilled fear among the former party loyalists and the upper middle class. "The previous dictators – Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il – ruled the country with an iron hand, but they did take care of their inner circle, but Kim Jong-un does not do that," the defector said.
According to a survey by the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, there has been a steady drop in the support for Kim Jong-un. In 2012, the perceived support for the supreme leader stood at 70%, but in 2014 it has dropped to 58%.
The North Korean defector went on to tell CNN that trust among the loyalists had deteriorated and the series of purge has increased the chances that somebody in the country would assassinate Kim Jong-un soon.