NK sacks head of spy chief for graft
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has sacked his spy chief for abuse of power and executed several officials of the state security agency, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Friday.
Minister of State Security Kim Won-hong was dismissed in mid-January after the agency came under scrutiny for power abuse and corruption, the South Korean ministry’s spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said.
A Unification Ministry official, who asked not to be named, said that North Korea also executed an unspecified number of the agency’s officials.
The sudden dismissal of a top official may add to instability in the North by increasing anxiety among elites, he added.
Kim Won-hong had survived repeated purges since Kim Jong-un took power in 2011 which have seen four of the North’s five highestranking military officers purged.
The spy agency chief, in post since 2012, played a key role in arresting and executing Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song-thaek, once known as the No.2 power holder, in 2013 on charges of treason.