N Korea ex­e­cutes vice premier for ‘dis­re­spect’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

SEOUL – 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, 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.

Kim was killed by a fir­ing squad in July as “an an­tiparty, anti-rev­o­lu­tion­ary 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 an in­ter­ro­ga­tion that re­vealed his other crimes, the of­fi­cial told re­porters.

The mass-sell­ing JoongAng Ilbo first re­ported on Tues­day 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 in­ter-Korean af­fairs and es­pi­onage ac­tiv­i­ties against the South.

The 71-year-old Kim is a ca­reer mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial who is be­lieved to be the mas­ter­mind be­hind the North’s fre­quent cy­ber­at­tacks against Seoul.

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.

Kim was ban­ished to an agri­cul­tural farm in July for a month for his “ar­ro­gance” and “abuse of power,” the min­istry of­fi­cial said.

Kim Yong-Chol, who was sub­se­quently re­in­stated this month, is likely to be tempted to prove his loy­alty by com­mit­ting provoca­tive acts against the South, the of­fi­cial said. “There­fore, we are keep­ing a close tab on the North”, he said.

South Korea’s Yon­hap news agency put the num­ber of party of­fi­cials ex­e­cuted dur­ing Kim Jong-Un’s rule at over 100.

The most no­to­ri­ous case was that of Kim’s un­cle and one­time No 2 Jang Song-Thaek, who was ex­e­cuted for charges in­clud­ing trea­son and cor­rup­tion in De­cem­ber 2013.

In April 2015, it was re­ported that Kim had his de­fence min­is­ter Hyon Yong-Chol sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted with an anti-air­craft gun.

Re­ports of the lat­est ex­e­cu­tion co­in­cide with a se­ries of high-pro­file de­fec­tions from the North.

North Korea’s deputy am­bas­sador to Bri­tain has de­fected to the South with his fam­ily, the uni­fi­ca­tion min­istry said ear­lier this month. — AFP

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