NNA – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has had his defense minister executed with anti-aircraft fire for insubordination and dozing off during formal military rallies, South Korean intelligence said Wednesday, hinting at possible instability in the Pyongyang leadership.
If confirmed, it marks another demonstration of Kim’s ruthlessness in dealing with even the most senior officials suspected of disloyalty, following the execution of his uncle and one-time political mentor Jang Song-Thaek in 2013.
It also points to possible power struggles within the top leadership, following Kim Jong-Un’s decision to cancel a scheduled visit to Moscow last week in order to deal with “internal issues”.
Late last month, the NIS reported that Kim had ordered the execution of 15 senior officials so far this year, including two vice ministers, for questioning his authority.
In a briefing Wednesday to a parliamentary committee, Han Ki-Beom, the deputy director of the South’s National Intelligence Agency (NIS) said hundreds of people witnessed the execution of minister Hyon Yong-Chol, which was believed to have been carried out with an anti-aircraft gun around April 30 at a military academy in northern Pyongyang.–AFP