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N. Korea Executes Defense Chief
International

N. Korea Executes Defense Chief

North Korea executed its defense chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service told lawmakers, which would be the latest in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took charge.
Hyon Yong Chol, who headed the isolated nuclear-capable country’s military, was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim and falling asleep during an event at which North Korea’s young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
His execution was watched by hundreds of people, according to the source. It was not clear how the NIS obtained the information.
“The NIS official said it had been confirmed by multiple sources. It is still just intelligence, but he said they were confident,” said Shin Kyoung-min, a lawmaker and member of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who attended the briefing.
Experts on North Korea said there was no sign of instability in Pyongyang, but there could be if purges continued.
Kim had previously ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority, according to the NIS. In all, some 70 officials have been executed since Kim took over after his father’s death in 2011, Yonhap news agency cited the NIS as saying.
In 2013, Kim purged and executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang’s leadership, for factionalism and committing crimes damaging to the economy, along with a group of officials close to him.

 

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