Does Kim Jong Un Owe His Life to Female Traffic Cop?
Ri Kyong Sim dubbed 'Hero of the Republic'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 9, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech during a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)

(Newser) – News of a traffic cop receiving an award wouldn't usually make international news. But when the cop happens to be from North Korea, and the honor happens to be the "Hero of the Republic" award, it's a different story. South Korea media is speculating that Ri Kyong Sim may have saved Kim Jong Un's life. According to the North's official news, Ri "displayed the heroic self-sacrificing spirit of safeguarding the security of the headquarters of the revolution in an unexpected circumstance." The "headquarters of the revolution" frequently means North Korea's top leaders, the AFP notes.

Other possibly telling quotes:

  • From her boss: "Comrade Ri's action was ... made possible because she had always harbored this longing for the respected leader day and night."
  • From a former teacher: "She was always such a responsible person ... that explains why she could achieve such a heroic feat for the safety of the brains of our revolution."
The exact nature of her act remains unclear. Some in South Korea have suggested she came to Kim's aid during a traffic accident. But "I suspect it might have been linked to an assassination attempt disguised as a traffic accident," the head of a North Korean defector organization tells AFP.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Scott603
May 9, 2013 10:48 AM CDT
It seems weird to me that North Korea is so closed and so secret that it is the only country in the world that we don't know if the president is really married, how old he is, where he went to college, etc. We don't know what is and isn't illegal there. They can issue a public award without telling anyone what it is for.
$28919642
May 9, 2013 9:09 AM CDT
No photo of the girl? You'd expect the NK Propaganda Program to give this big play. So, why no photo?
finkster
May 9, 2013 8:51 AM CDT
"she could achieve such a heroic feat for the safety of the brains of our revolution." Kim Jong Un has brains?....surprising....