Did a fit of rage kill leader Kim Jong Il? New reports claim that the late North Korean dictator was irate over a briefing about a water leak at the hydroelectric power station in Huichon.
"After being briefed about the leak, Kim Jong Il lambasted officials and ordered them to repair it," an unnamed source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. "He rushed to make an on-site inspection of the facility unable to contain his anger and died suddenly."
Kim Jong Il had visited the site "at least eight times" since the project began in 2009; The Independent said the facility was considered "crucial" for Pyongyang. The plant was the source of at least half of the power needs for the city as well as the solution to the capital's power shortage.
The Huffington Post noted, though, that reports about Kim Jong Il's death are normally "tightly controlled" to protect his reputation and honor. Any reports of what actually killed the leader have been, at most, mere speculation. It is not even clear when Kim Jong Il actually died, as no one learned of his death until a time after it occurred.
"The theory is intriguing 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 Wall Street Journal's Alastair Gale wrote.
Kim Jong Il's son, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the completion of the hydroelectric plant just four months after his father's death. He was not present for the plant's opening, though, because "he was too aggrieved over what the project had done to his father," anonymous sources told the Chosun Ilbo.
The 330-foot high facility has been seen as the "poster project" of a "powerful and prosperous nation," Chosun Ilbo noted.