By Latin Times Staff Writer, Jan 01, 2013 07:26 PM EST
(PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters) The damages to the 330-foot high Huichon dam were significant, the source claimed to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilba.
Breaking news: former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was an angry, angry little man. And that's just what killed him, according to a new report. South Korean media claims the dictator died from a heart attack sparked by a "fit of rage" over some shoddy construction work at a hydroelectric plant.
A conservative newspaper in South Korea, the Chosun Ilbo, revealed the information, saying the "Supreme Commander" exploded after he was informed of a gaping leak at the hydroelectric dam in Huichon, Jagang Province. The plant was crucial to Il and his plan for the insular nation's energy future. The dictator reportedly visited the site, located some 75 miles north of the virtually power-starved capital of Pyongyang, at least eight times since the project was rushed to construction in 2009, according to Chosun Ilbo.
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The power plant was a hugely significant piece of the country's energy plan and was built to ease power shortages Pyongyang, The Independent noted, and the nation's coat of arms even includes an image of a hydro plant.
"After being briefed about the leak, Kim Jong Il lambasted officials and ordered them to repair it," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. "He rushed to make an on-site inspection of the facility unable to contain his anger and died suddenly."
The news of the plant's grave problems couldn't have come at a worse time for the leader of the reclusive country. When Il found out about the the leak he had already been reeling following reports that there were major defects at steel and textile manufacturing plants, which he considered "poster projects" for North Korea's emergence as a "powerful and prosperous nation," reported the newspaper.
The damages to the 330-foot high Huichon dam were significant, the source claimed to Chosun Ilbo.
"It wasn't just a crack. The safety of the entire dam was in question," the source said.
The details surrounding the official story of 69-year-old Il's death in 2011 are tightly controlled, the Huffington Post noted. When Il died, it took North Korea's state-run news, KCNA, three days to announce the news of the leader's passing. An emotional broadcaster reported that the cause of Il's death was "overwork" after "dedicating his life to the people," according to CNN.
According to KCNA, Il suffered a heart attack while on his personal train as he traveled to a "field guidance tour," a story that the Wall Street Journal claims doesn't quite make sense. The Journal notes the information of Kim's "apparent habit about sleeping in"; the time of death was listed as 8:30 a.m. Satellite pictures also appeared to show Il's personal train was still in the capital of Pyongyang at the time of his death, the Journal reported.
The theory is "intriguing," writes The Journal's Alastair Gale, "because it's certainly plausible that Mr. Kim would've been extremely unhappy about such news given the importance of the project and his well-documented bad temper. Throw a weak heart into the mix and, boom, it may have toppled him."
The Huichon hydroelectric power plant was completed on April 5, 2012, seven years ahead of schedule. Il's son and successor, Kim Jong Un, was absent from the opening ceremony. He was too grief-stricken to attend over what the project had done to his father, sources claimed to the newspaper.