Wednesday, April 9, 2014

North Korean official ‘executed by flamethrower’ in new purge of supporters for Kim Jong-un’s dead uncle Jang Song-thaek

Senior security ministry figure reportedly ‘burned alive’ for masterminding Jang’s personal security

Kim Jong-Un reacts to participants of the 8th conference of the ideological officials of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang

By ADAM WITHNALL

Tuesday 08 April 2014

A North Korean official has been executed with a flamethrower as part of a new round of bloody purges, according to South Korean media reports.

A source in the country reportedly told theChosun Ilbo newspaper that 11 high-ranking government officials were either killed or jailed on Sunday.

The purge was described as a second wave of the same movement that saw the execution of Jang Song-thaek, leader Kim Jong-un’s influential uncle, in December last year.

One of those killed at the weekend was reportedly Jang’s older sister, Kye-sun, and all were described as close supporters of the former Workers’ Party administrative chief.

The man singled out to be “burned alive” was O Sang-hon, a senior figure in the country’s public security ministry who was accused of turning his department into a “personal protection squad” for Jang.

He was “executed by flamethrower”, the source told Chosun Ilbo. Around 100 other lower-ranking party officials were also reportedly sacked.

Kim was recently re-elected to his seat in the parliament by the unanimous verdict of all eligible voters in his constituency - in a country where elections serve more as a method of checking up on the populace than of giving them any say in their governance.

In pictures: North Korea prepares for elections

And while today's reports from South Korea cannot be independently verified, it is not the first time the North Korean leadership have used an elaborate execution to send out a public message.

In October 2012, army minister Kim Chol was reportedly “executed by mortar round” as part of an initial purge to strengthen the then-fledgling regime of Kim.

The Communist Party chief reportedly ordered executors to leave “no trace of him behind, down to the hair”.

This weekend’s reports also came after it was initially thought that Jang himself was executed by being stripped naked and fed to 120 ravenous dogs – a story that was in fact begun by a Chinese satirist.

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