SEOUL – South Korea’s spy agency reported Monday that North Korea has executed five senior security officials with anti-aircraft guns because they made false reports that “enraged” leader Kim Jong Un.
The National Intelligence Service told South Korean lawmakers that five North Korean officials in the department of state security were executed by anti-aircraft guns because of the false reports to Kim Jong Un.
South Korean lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo said It’s not clear what false reports they allegedly made, and the NIS didn’t say how it got its information.
South Korean spies have a spotty record when reporting about high-level events in authoritarian, cloistered North Korea.
North Korea fired the Head of State Security, Kim Won Hong in January, presumably over corruption, abuse of power and torture committed by his agency. The fallen minister 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.
Mr Lee also cited the NIS as saying that Kim Won Hong’s dismissal was linked to those false reports, which “enraged” Kim Jong Un when they were discovered.
Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has reportedly executed or purged a large number of high-level government officials in what rival Seoul has called a “reign of terror”.
The exicutions come as Malaysia investigates the poisoning death of Kim’s estranged elder half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. The investigation is still going on, South Korea says it believes Kim Jong Un ordered the assassination, which took place Feb 13 at Kuala Lumpur’s airport.
The Asscoiated Press