A senior North Korean official has been executed with a flamethrower after Kim Jong-un branded him an ‘enemy of the state’, it has been claimed.
O Sang-hon is said to have been brutally killed for his close ties to the communist leader’s uncle Jang Song-taek, who was himself publicly tried and executed in December after being found guilty of corruption and ‘counter revolutionary’ activities.
Mr O is thought to be the latest of 11 senior Workers Party figures to have been executed this year over their links to Mr Jang, with South Korean media reporting that Kim Jong-un has plans to execute or imprison hundreds more of his supporters and extended family members.
Mr O had been Mr Jang’s deputy at North Korea’s ministry of public security, and his execution by flamethrower took place after being found guilty of helping his boss turn the state department into a personal security division and hide corruption, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.
The ministry of public security has since been closed, with all 11 of the most senior officials said to have been either executed or sent to one of Kim Jong-un’s concentration camps in a second wave of vengeance following conviction of Mr Jang.
The first round saw Mr Jang’s closest relatives and colleagues – including North Korea’s ambassador to Cuba – executed for their links to the ministry.
The second wave, which is currently underway, has seen the execution and imprisonment of senior officials who worked in the ministry, or in state departments affiliated with it.
A planned third wave will allegedly target Mr Jang’s extended family members , and his low ranking supporters in provincial chapters of the Workers Party – with reports this could result in the execution or imprisonment of up to 200 people.
At the time of Mr Jang’s removal a government statement was announced reading: ‘The discovery and purge of the Jang group… made our party and revolutionary ranks purer.’
Although the reports of Mr O’s brutal end have not been officially confirmed, it would not be the first time Kim Jong-un had ordered unconventional execution methods.
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