North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority, South Korea’s spy agency told a closed-door parliament meeting on Wednesday.
A vice minister for forestry was one of the officials executed for complaining about a state policy, a member of parliament’s intelligence committee, Shin Kyung-min, quoted an unnamed National Intelligence Service official as saying.
“Excuses or reasoning doesn’t work for Kim Jong Un, and his style of rule is to push through everything, and if there’s any objection, he takes that as a challenge to authority and comes back with execution as a showcase,” Shin said. “In four months this year, fifteen senior officials are said to have been executed,” Shin cited the intelligence official as saying.
In 2013, Kim purged and executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang’s leadership circle, for corruption and committing crimes damaging to the economy, along with a group of officials close to him.
Kim has also reshuffled close aides and senior officials repeatedly since taking office.