The executed officials worked at the deputy-minister level and were under the command of the recently fired state security chief Kim Won Hong. Their execution is believed to have been ordered after they made false reports to the North’s leader Kim Jon Un. This information was provided by two parliamentarians after briefing by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) – South Korea.
According to Kim Byung-kee, South Korean lawmaker, the state security chief has been placed under house arrest as investigations proceed while at least his five junior officials have been executed using anti-aircraft guns, reports Reuters.
Byung-kee alludes on the possibility of more executions to take place because the investigations are yet to be finalized.
North Korea’s State Security Ministry is the country’s intelligence service which also operates prison camps and also does home surveillance on the citizens besides the party workers.
Another lawmaker, Lee Cheol-woo, says that the ministry is involved in monitoring the public and party officials. Information emerged that Kim Jong Un was served with false reports.
The leader became furious after the finding and ordered Kim Won Hong to be placed under house arrest while five officials to be executed.
Cheol-woo said that Kim further ordered the removal of his father’s statue from the Ministry’s grounds as punishment. The dictator’s father was his immediate predecessor.
We have no prison camps
Pyongyang’s official report turns down allegations that there are prison camps in the state. However, a US Treasury statement asserts that Kim Won Hong was involved in managing and directing illegal operations like “sexual assault, beatings, forced abortions, forced starvation and infanticide.” All these are said to have taken place within the prison camps.
Kim Won Hong was removed from office in January. He used to report directly to Kim and was one of his leading lieutenants as alleged by South Korea’s Unification Ministry.
The Minister of State Security did some tasks such as rooting out spies in the North, conducted counterespionage operations abroad and oversaw the agency that runs the country’s notorious prison camps.
Jeong Joon-hee, spokesman to the Unification Ministry said that Kim Wong Hong house arrest was a punishment for abuses of human rights done in the process of interrogating suspects at the State Security Department.
Kim has executed hundreds
A 2016 report by the Institute for National Security Strategy alleges that Kim has ordered the execution of 340 people ever since he took over leadership in 2011.
The South Korean agency released the report titled “The misgoverning of Kim Jong Un’s five years in power,” detailing how the North Korean leader misuses his power to remain the undisputed leader.
He has so far executed 140 senior officials as part of the 340 killed. The officials served either in military, government and ruling Korean Worker’s Party.
This is not the first time this gruesome method of execution is being implemented. In May 2015, Kim’s Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol was killed using an anti-aircraft gun in front of a crowd.
There is no doubt the weapon split apart his body as explained by RAND Corporation senior defense analyst Bruce Bennett. The victim’s family must have been part of the viewing audience because that is Kim’s strategy.