Kim Jong-un has taken new measures over fears of assassination by building several new mansions in North Korea so his enemies can never know where he’s sleeping.
New analysis revealed eight new luxury houses have been built in the Ch’angkwangsan Compound, a secretive estate at the heart of Pyongyang.
The study, from North Korea Leadership Watch, also identified a new guard building and several plots of land for future mansions.
Michael Madden, an expert on the country’s elite, said one potential reason for the construction was to make a ‘decapitation strike’ harder.
He said: ‘This would be an attack from outside the country targeting the North Korean leadership, along with command and control over its military assets.
‘The most significant activity occurred about ten years ago when South Korean forces simulated such an attack – and it sent Pyongyang into a tizzy.’
Madden continued: ‘This is another round in a decades-long cat-and-mouse game in which the leader of North Korea eludes current satellite views of his whereabouts.
‘Sometimes it involves early morning travel, underground facilities or decoy motorcades.
‘If you think he is in one house, well guess again, he might be in another.’
In Kim’s case, the compound is perfectly placed to allow him to grasp the gears of power as well as to sate his legendary appetite.
Mr. Madden said: ‘These new residences are located in the heart of Pyongyang.
‘They are across the street from the ruling party’s Central Committee Departments’ office buildings.
‘These departments are some of the most powerful institutions in North Korean political culture as they supervise the work of government, security and military organisations.
‘The Ch’angkwangsan Compound is also close to a number of venues where the North Korean leadership holds national events, as well as Pyongyang’s restaurant row.’
‘Kim Jong-un has about 13 residential compounds located throughout the country,’ said Mr Madden.
‘Each of these compounds has residences for him and his family, and entertainment and dining facilities.
‘And then there are a series of guest houses which are inhabited by other family members and close aides.
‘When we are looking at images like this and see luxury houses, it is a pretty restricted population of people who will live in them.’
The mansions could also be new homes for members of his family, members of the Ko family – Kim Jong-un’s maternal relations, or his in-laws.