Kim Jong-un apparently learned from his father’s brutal tactics. The execution of his own uncle is the most important person Kim has ordered killed during his two-year tenure as supreme leader, but it’s not his first.
In August, Hyon Song-wol, a singer rumored to be Kim Jong Un’s ex-girlfriend was executed along with a dozen other popular music performers in front of their families, according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. Hyon and the other members of the Unhasu Orchestra were sentenced to death on pornography charges. Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju is also a previous member of the Unhasu Orchestra and is rumored to have requested Hyon’s death because she was jealous of the other woman’s popularity.
In one of Kim’s first shows of strength he ordered the execution of Kim Chol, a deputy defense minister, just weeks after coming to power following his father’s death in 2011. Chol was accused of drinking alcohol with a female military officer during the country’s three month mourning period for Kim Jong-il, in which his son strictly prohibited “singing or dancing, merrymaking or recreation,” according to reports.
According to Chosun Ilbo, Chol, several other officers were executed, fired at close range by mortars.