North Korea’s purge of senior officials who are deemed a threat to Kim Jong-un’s leadership of the country has continued with the public executions of two senior officials, according to South Korean media, possibly to generate fear among members of the elite after recent high-level defections.
The conservative daily, the JoongAng Ilbo, reported on Tuesday that Hwang Min, a former agriculture minister, and Ri Yong-jin, a senior official at the education ministry, were executed by anti-aircraft gun at a military academy in Pyongyang earlier this month.
Hwang was reportedly killed for making policy proposals that were seen as a direct threat to Kim’s leadership. The report did not give details of the proposals. Ri was said to have been executed for falling asleep during a meeting chaired by Kim.
The newspaper’s front-page report, based on information from an unnamed source it claimed had “special knowledge” of the regime, has not been independently verified. No announcement has been made by the state’s official KCNA news agency.