North Korea executes vice premier for ‘dozing’
NORTH Korea has executed a vice premier for showing disrespect during a meeting presided over by leader Kim Jong-un, and banished two other officials for re-education, South Korea said yesterday.
Since taking power after his father’s death in late 2011, Mr Kim is believed to have executed or demoted a number of senior figures in what analysts say is an attempt to tighten his grip on power.
“Vice premier for education Kim Yong-Jin was executed,” Seoul’s Unification Ministry spokesperson Jeong Joon-hee said at a regular briefing.
Mr Kim was killed by a firing squad in July as “an anti-party, antirevolutionary agitator”, added an official at the ministry, who declined to be named.
“Kim Yong-jin was denounced for his bad sitting posture when he was sitting below the rostrum” during a session of North Korea’s parliament, and then underwent a interrogation that revealed his other crimes, the official told reporters.
The mass-selling JoongAng Ilbo first reported that top figures had been punished, but identified the education official by a different name.
“He incurred the wrath of Kim after he dozed off during a meeting presided over by Kim. He was arrested on site and intensively questioned by the state security ministry,” it quoted a source as saying.
The unification ministry said two other senior figures were forced to undergo re-education sessions.
One of them was Kim Yong-chol, a top official in charge of interKorean affairs and espionage activities against the South.
The 71-year-old Mr Kim is a career military intelligence official who is believed to be the mastermind behind the North’s frequent cyberattacks against Seoul.
Mr Kim is also blamed by the South for the sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010 near the disputed sea border with the North in the Yellow Sea.
Mr Kim was banished to an agricultural farm in July for a month for
Kim Jong-un is said to have executed more than a 100 officials.