Kim Jong Un ex­e­cuted 15 top of­fi­cials: re­port

The China Post - - CLASSIFIEDS -

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or­dered the ex­e­cu­tion of 15 se­nior of­fi­cials this year, in­clud­ing sev­eral who com­plained about the young leader’s poli­cies, South Korea’s in­tel­li­gence agency said Wed­nes­day.

Those ex­e­cuted in­cluded two vice min­is­ter-level of­fi­cials, the Yon­hap news agency re­ported, cit­ing leg­is­la­tors who at­tended a brief­ing by the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice (NIS).

Both were pun­ished for op­pos­ing or com­plain­ing about Kim’s di­rec­tives, the leg­is­la­tors said, adding a vice forestry min­is­ter was ex­e­cuted for com­plain­ing about Kim’s foresta­tion plan.

As well as the 15 se­nior offi- cials, the NIS said four mem­bers of North Korea’s Un­hasu Orches­tra, with which Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, had once been a singer, were ex­e­cuted in March.

The NIS said they were ex­e­cuted by fir­ing squad on charges of spy­ing.

In 2013, Ja­panese and South Korean me­dia re­ported that a num­ber of mem­bers of the orches­tra had been ex­e­cuted for vi­o­lat­ing pornog­ra­phy laws in a bid by Kim to pro­tect his wife’s rep­u­ta­tion.

The Kim dy­nasty has ruled reclu­sive and im­pov­er­ished North Korea for more than six decades with an iron fist and a per­va­sive per­son­al­ity cult.

The NIS sug­gested Kim Jong Un was fol­low­ing the well-trod­den path of his fa­ther and grand­fa­ther in us­ing regular purges and ex­e­cu­tions to en­sure dis­ci­pline and loy­alty.

Kim had his un­cle and one-time po­lit­i­cal men­tor Jang Song Thaek ex­e­cuted in late 2013 on an ar­ray of charges, in­clud­ing trea­son and cor­rup­tion.

Jang had played a key role in ce­ment­ing the lead­er­ship of the in­ex­pe­ri­enced Kim, who took over af­ter the death of his fa­ther and long-time ruler Kim Jong Il in De­cem­ber 2011.

But an­a­lysts said Jang’s grow­ing po­lit­i­cal power and in­ter­ven­tion in lu­cra­tive trade deals was re­sented by his young nephew.

The NIS said Kim Jong Un’s younger sis­ter, Kim Yo Jong, who has risen swiftly through the lead­er­ship ranks, ap­peared to have mar­ried her col­lege class­mate and was ex­pect­ing a baby next month.

An­a­lysts say Kim Yo Jong, who once stud­ied with her brother in Switzer­land, wields in­creas­ing in­flu­ence as the head of a pro­pa­ganda unit in charge of her brother’s of­fi­cial vis­its.

She has reg­u­larly ac­com­pa­nied her brother on his “field guid­ance” trips since she was named as part of the pow­er­ful Na­tional De­fense Com­mis­sion in 2013 and granted a se­nior party ti­tle late last year.

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