December 12, 2018 13:01
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has purged senior officers of the Supreme Guard Command for corruption, the Tokyo Shimbun reported on Tuesday.
The purge was carried out in October as a result of an audit by the Workers Party's Organization and Guidance Department, the daily quoted a source in Beijing as saying.
The chief of the command's political department was caught in possession of millions of dollars, and other purged senior officers were reportedly involved in the same case. The command is essentially Kim's private army and consists of about 120,000 elite troops.
Kim himself gave the orders for the audit, apparently because he feared that too much power might be concentrated in a few hands, the daily speculated.
The Organization and Guidance Department also conducted an extensive audit of the Army politburo last year which led to the punishment of its then chief Hwang Pyong-so.
Meanwhile, a study says that the regime has executed 421 senior officials since Kim took power. Kang Chol-hwan, a defector and founder of the North Korea Strategy Center, unveiled the study on Monday. It was conducted with funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, a Congress-financed non-profit organization.
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