For entirely different reasons, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un had two officials killed the same way earlier in August, reports stated.
These officials were Hwang Min and Ri Yong Jin, The Guardian said, citing information from the JoongAng Ilbo. Speculations have it that they were executed via anti-aircraft gunshots in Pyongyang.
A former agriculture minister, Hwang was reportedly killed for drafting policy proposals that threatened Kim’s position.
On the other hand, Ri was a senior officer at the education ministry allegedly killed for dozing off in one of Kim’s meetings. He was also believed to be charged with corruption before the execution.
The JoongAng Ilbo retrieved its information from an unnamed tipster, who claimed having “special knowledge” over the matter. Its veracity has not been confirmed.
But if the rumor holds truth, it would be the first time Kim has ordered executions outside his party or the military, the Chicago Tribune noted.
The executions may have also been carried out to scare North Korea’s high-ranking officials. It can be remembered that Thae Yong Ho, the country’s deputy ambassador in London, defected this month. He was the highest-ranking Pyongyang diplomat to flee Kim’s regime, Reuters said.