July 05, 2021 11:50
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seems to have resumed a reign of terror by purging scores of officials over his own disastrous failings amid a growing food shortage.
The official Nodong Sinmun has repeatedly published warning messages in recent articles. It said Sunday that who is a loyal subject "becomes clearer on times of hardship," while in an editorial last week it warned that officials will end up "losers of the revolution" if they fail to maintain discipline. "While mistakes made in the process are forgivable, causing critical harm to our party, country and people due to irresponsibility and negligence of duty is never acceptable," it thundered.
The warnings came after Kim fired several senior officials for causing a "crisis" in the fight against coronavirus. They included a member of the top standing committee of the politburo, which only has five members including Kim himself.
Kim chaired three extended Workers Party meetings in the first half of this year alone, which is unprecedented. He ordered the creation of a new department earlier this year focusing on the fight against corruption among high-ranking officials and warned of another "arduous march" in a party cell meeting in April, a reference to the deadly famine caused by his father Kim Jong-il in the 1990s.
A government official here said Kim Jong-un is "pressuring not the North Korean people but high-ranking officials."
Kim senior also executed his top agriculture official by firing squad during the famine, and in 2010 the party’s top finance official was executed over a failed currency reform. Kim junior had his uncle Jang Song-taek executed in 2013 and put armed forces minister Hyon Yong-chol to death in 2015 in attempts to bring various powerful factions under control.
One senior North Korean defector said, "Kim Jong-un is trying to cut off voices of discontent. It looks like the reign of terror will continue to quell internal dissatisfaction and unrest."
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