In another round of high-level purges in North Korea, Kim Jong Un has allegedly offed two senior officials by use of anti-aircraft guns, reports the Korea JoongAng Daily.
The young dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly executed two high-ranking officials with an anti-aircraft gun earlier this month, a source inside the reclusive North Korea told the JoongAng Ilbo.
Former agricultural minister Hwang Min and senior education ministry official Ri Yong-jin were executed on a special order from Kim himself.
Ri was reportedly executed for dozing off during a meeting with Kim. Later, he was charged with corruption and showing disrespect to the leader, reports Reuters.
Hwang was allegedly killed for pushing policies which directly challenged Kim’s power and authority.
If the two officials were, in fact, executed for “improper behavior,” it may signal that Kim is once again purging senior officials. Kim could be responding to instability in the regime following the recent high-level defection of Thae Yong-ho, the most senior official to defect in decades.
The accuracy of reports concerning high-level executions in North Korea is often exceptionally hard to determine, and a number of reported incidents have turned out to be fabricated.
While the execution of Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2012 was presented to the world via North Korean media outlets, North Korea rarely publicizes its executions for sources beyond its borders.
Since Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un took office in 2011, he has reportedly executed more than 70 people. This figure is seven times higher than the number of people his father Kim Jong Il killed during the early years of his reign.
Kim killed a number of senior officials to consolidate power, and others were personal vendettas, acts of a petty dictator.
The method of execution tends to vary with each execution. Some have been poisoned, and others have been executed by firing squad. Former Vice Minister of the Army Kim Chol and former Deputy Defense Minister Kim Yong Chun were blown to bits by mortar rounds. Former Deputy Minister of Public Security O Sang-hon was bound to a stake and burned alive with a flame thrower.
The last official to be killed with an anti-aircraft gun was former Defense Minister Hyon Yong-chol, who was executed last May.
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