North Korea

North Korea's Kim Jong-il angry over dam project before fatal heart attack

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2012, 1:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am


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North Korea’s late leader lost his temper because of sloppy work on a crucial power station before he suffered a fatal heart attack a year ago, a South Korean newspaper said on Tuesday.

North Korea said Kim Jong-il had died aboard a train on December 17 from a heart attack brought on by pressure of work, but the exact cause has been veiled in mystery.

Chosun Ilbo, a conservative national newspaper, said Kim’s indignation might have caused his sudden death.

Kim was violently angry after belatedly finding out about a leak of water at the hydroelectric power station in Huichon, about 120 kilometres north of Pyongyang, it said.

“Kim Jong-il died suddenly while trying in haste to make a field inspection” of the power station, a source was quoted as saying.

The power station was a key construction project launched by Kim to ease the electricity shortage in the capital.

He had visited the construction site eight times since work began in 2009, but the 100-metre-high dam leaked water through cracks before his death, Chosun Ilbo said.

The regime widely publicised the project as one of Kim’s great achievements when it was completed on April 5.

The power station can generate 150,000kW of electricity, and state media said it was completed in just three years rather than the normal 10 thanks to “heroic feats” by workers.