North Korea is a loose cannon

International - Kim Jong Un has "disrespectful" defense ministers executed

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The regime in Pyongyang has apparently executed its military chief - with an anti-aircraft gun. This “honor” should be reserved for high-ranking government officials.

According to intelligence information, North Korea's head of state Kim Jong Un has deposed his defense minister, Hyon Yong Chol, and executed him in front of an audience. Hundreds of officials saw the execution of the minister with anti-aircraft guns. This was said by the deputy chief of the South Korean secret service NIS, Han Ki Beom, in front of a parliamentary committee. Hyon had been counted among Kim's closest circle.

NIS Vice Han said that when he was executed on April 30 at a military academy in northern Pyongyang, Hyon was punished for "infidelity and disrespect" to North Korea's head of state Kim Jong Un.

The minister was caught dozing off at official military events. He also replied to Kim. According to unconfirmed reports from intelligence sources, Hyon committed unspecified betrayal.

Satellite images show the place of execution

The execution in the military academy was reportedly carried out with flak fire. According to unconfirmed reports, this method is reserved for high-ranking government officials in communist North Korea, on whom the leadership wants to make an example.

In April, the US-based organization Commitee for Human Rights in Korea released satellite images from mid-October showing the military academy. On display was a shooting range with anti-aircraft guns, which were apparently lined up in preparation for an execution.

At the end of April, it was reported from South Korean intelligence circles that Kim had executed 15 opponents from the ranks of the government, including two deputy ministers. They complained about Kim's instructions.

Respect from Executions?

"The executions show that a lot is in motion within the North Korean power elite," says journalist and North Korea expert Martin Fritz in Tokyo. Kim has no power base of his own within the elite, he is simply too young. In addition, the head of state is still working to replace the older generals and officials.

"Since Kim came to power three years ago, reports have been increasing that the North Koreans have no respect for the new leader," added Fritz.

Kim has probably lived abroad too long, knows too little about North Korea and is also not respected by the people. The rulers may try to gain this respect through the many executions.

Failed Moscow mission as the reason for execution

Hyon had only taken over the post of Secretary of Defense less than a year ago. He was last seen in public at musical performances on April 27th and 28th.

In North Korea, the defense minister is primarily responsible for logistics and international exchanges between the armed forces. The direction of defense policy is the responsibility of the powerful National Defense Commission and the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party.

Hyon had traveled to Moscow in April - probably also to prepare for Kim's participation in the celebrations there for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 9th. According to reports, Hyon was supposed to negotiate an arms deal in return for Kim's participation. According to one expert, the then defense minister may not have fulfilled this mission.

Kim Jong Un succeeded his father Kim Jong Il at the head of the state after his death in late 2011. Since then, he has repeatedly replaced high-ranking defense cadres.

Half denial

Open the box Close the box

South Korea's secret service NIS does not want to officially confirm the execution. The minister was released, but information about an execution has not yet been verified. The NIS has a mixed record when it comes to the quality of its reports. Some information has been shown to be incorrect in the past.

agencies / imhm; snep

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  • Commentary by Ch. Gerber, Basel
    Our Swiss government should keep this in mind, how it is handled in North Korea when one is disrespectful or even a traitor. If we were NOT to solve our problems with initiatives and speakers, our federal government would be replaced at the very least. Since we have NO dictatorship but a unique direct democracy, there is no need to resort to such brutal methods. But what if we no longer have direct democracy? (e.g. EU)?
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from u. Demmler, Bern
    And if we could agree a free trade agreement with North Korea, we would be there (see China!)
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Commentary by W. Wunderfitz, Basel
    Was that a 20mm automatic or an 85mm single shot with a fragmentation bullet?
    Agree agree to the comment

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