Purges in N.Korea's Upper Echelons Continue

  • By Ahn Yong-hyun, Kim Myong-song

    September 01, 2016 10:02

    Kim Yong-chol (left) and Kim Yong-jin

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un keeps brutally asserting his hold on power with purges of the upper echelons, the government here confirmed Wednesday.

    Kim Yong-jin (63), a vice premier, was executed by firing squad on charges of counter-revolutionary activities after he was seen sitting in a "bad attitude" at the Supreme People's Assembly in June, the Unification Ministry here told reporters.

    The narrative suggests that the vice premier had amassed too much personal wealth and influence.

    Among officials particularly feared in South Korea, Kim Yong-chol (71), the head of the United Front Department, was sent for re-education and hard labor on a farm between mid-July and mid-August, apparently for abusing his power.

    A government official here said Kim Yong-chol, who is believed to be behind the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010, was punished for his "poor track record" in dealing with South Korea.

    The government warned that he may now feel the need to prove his loyalty by masterminding another provocation against the South.

    Kim Yong-chol was conspicuously absent from a ceremony last month marking "Victory Day" or the end of the Korean War.

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