North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has resumed his purges, the National Intelligence Service here said Thursday.
In an audit by the National Assembly Intelligence Committee, NIS officials said Kim has stepped up surveillance of senior officials and resumed purges and executions to create a climate of fear.
Lawmakers quoted officials as saying Kim sent several senior editors of the Rodong Sinmun daily to a reeducation camp for failing to celebrate a missile launch on the front page, and executed a senior officer of an anti-aircraft battery in Pyongyang for corruption.
When he took power in late 2011, Kim began a reign of terror by executing senior officials including his uncle Jang Song-taek, who had arrogated most business with China to himself, and Hyon Yong-chol, the minister of the People’s Armed Forces.
In a white paper last year, the Institute for National Security Strategy wrote, “As many as 340 officials have been executed by firing squad or purged over the five years since Kim took power.”
Kim stopped the purges after he suddenly fired State Security Minister Kim Won-hong in January this year. Prof. Nam Sung-wook of Korea University said, “Kim has resumed the purges to tighten controls amid international sanctions and strengthen unity.”