North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has built eight new mansions in his sprawling fortress as a means to confuse his assassins. In a report published on Aug. 21, the new mansions built in his “forbidden city” are enclosed in the Ch’angkwangsan Compound in the heart of Pyongyang. Analysts say this is Kim’s latest defense tactic so his enemies will never figure out where he sleeps.

Satellite imagery provided by the North Korea Leadership Watch showed ongoing construction work in the VIP zone of central Pyongyang which is known to house Kim’s favored elite. A new guard building was also spotted along with several new plots intended for future mansions. Experts behind the Leadership Watch blog believe that the construction of the new estates will make it more difficult for the leader’s enemies to make a “decapitation strike”. An analysis made by expert Michael Madden stated that such a strike would be similar to an incident 10 years ago.

“The most significant activity occurred about 10 years ago when South Korean forces simulated such an attack – and it sent Pyongyang into a tizzy,” Madden said. He branded the North’s move as a “paranoid tactic” that seems to borrow from the evasion techniques of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The emperor was said to have slept in a different place each night to confuse his assassins.

With the multitude of Kim’s mansions, his would-be assassins still have a lot to work with for them to pin down the leader’s movements as his mansions in the Ch’angkwangsan Compound is just one of many properties the North Korean leader uses around the country. The supreme leader has around 13 residential compounds located throughout North Korea which he uses to entertain family and friends. There are also a series of guest houses that are inhabited by relatives and close aides.

The images shown in the blog reveal construction work on three sites near the leader’s headquarters. Based on Madden’s observations, it is highly probable that the latest projects being erected in the compound will include some form of banquet or entertainment hall. The size of the land allocation, as well as the footprint of the construction build, indicates a large-scale infrastructure, perhaps a grand-sized residence.

Kim Jong Un
People sit near a screen showing a news broadcast at a train station in Seoul of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on August 17, 2022, after North Korea fired two cruise missiles, Seoul's defence ministry said, ending a month-long lull in Pyongyang's record-breaking spate of weapons tests this year. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

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