Seoul: Five officials executed in North
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea executed five senior security officials with anti-aircraft guns because they made false reports that “enraged” leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s spy agency said Monday.
The comments by the National Intelligence Service in a private briefing to lawmakers come as Malaysia investigates the poisoning death of Kim’s estranged elder half brother, Kim Jong Nam. South Korea says it believes that Kim Jong Un ordered the assassination, which took place Feb. 13 in Kuala Lumpur.
The spy agency told lawmakers that five North Korean officials in the department of the recently purged state security chief were executed by anti-aircraft guns over false reports made to Kim, South Korean lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo said.
It’s not clear what reports they allegedly made, and the intelligence agency didn’t say how it got its information. South Korean spies have a spotty record when reporting about high-level events in closed-off North Korea.
North Korea fired the state security chief Kim Won Hong in January, presumably over corruption, abuse of power and torture committed by his agency, Seoul said earlier this month. He had been seen as close to Kim Jong Un. North Korea has not publicly said anything about Kim Won Hong or about the alleged executions in his department.
Lee cited the National Intelligence Service as saying that the security chief’s dismissal was linked to the reports that ultimately “enraged” North Korea’s leader.