A North Korean security minister has been executed by flame-thrower on orders of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.
It would take the death-toll purges carried out by dictator Jong-un to at least 12 since he took power as Supreme Leader after the death of his father three years ago.
Deputy Public Security Minister O Sang-hon, was “executed by flame-thrower,” because of links to Kim’s own uncle – killed by firing squad and whose body was allegedly fed to starving dogs.
He was one of the last believed to have been linked to leader Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-taek.
One of the first rule’s of North Korean dictatorship is to purge by execution or concentration camp those who could pose a threat – including their own whole families.
Kim got rid of his father’s brother-in-law last December after finding him guilty of corruption and activities counter to the policies of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
The regime has shut down the department within the Workers’ Party that Mr Jang previously headed – which O Sang-hon had been appointed to.
South Korea is trying to confirm the “purge”.
Mr O is believed to have been executed because he followed Jang’s previous instructions to turn the ministry into a personal security division to help safeguard his business dealings.
A vice minister of the army was executed with a mortar round for reportedly drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il’s death in December of the previous year.
New Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ordered “no trace of him left behind, down to his hair,” according to sources in South Korea’s Seoul.
Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been targeted for a mortar round and “obliterated”.
But South Korea fears the continuing purges in Pyongyang , coupled with a renewed belligerence by the North, could lead to more instability between the countries.
The South Korean military has launched an intensive search across large areas of the country after a third unmanned reconnaissance drone was handed into authorities over the weekend. The aircraft was more than 80 miles south of the heavily fortified border.
The drone was spotted by locals last year but they only recognised its significance after the recovery of two similar remote-controlled aircraft in recent weeks.
The defence ministry in Seoul has promised to deploy new defensive measures specifically to destroy spy drones.