Executions are as common in North Korea as chicken slaughter in the Western world. So it comes as no surprise that the reclusive country’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of another poor being that fell out of his grace. But turns out that this poor chap is no ordinary man. South Korea, the mirror image of its northern brother in all walks of life, confirmed on Wednesday that Kim has executed Kim Yong-jin, deputy premier for education.
The man in the circle is executed leader Kim Yong-jin. Yonhap
And what was Yong-jin’s fault? Reports say that the 63-year-old Yong-jin posed in a manner before the Supreme Leader which was offending in the eyes of the latter.
Following the ‘fatal’ pose, North Korea ‘discovered’ that the deputy premier was an “anti-party reactionary” and promoted “modern-day factionalism”. Young-jin was executed in July by a firing squad.
This is the second most important execution of a top North Korean leader since the 2013 execution of Jang Song-thaek, the Supreme Leader’s own uncle who he accused of factionalism, corruption and plotting to overthrow his government.
Last year, Kim had also executed North Korean defense minister Gen. Hyon Yong-chol with an anti-aircraft gun in Pyongyang for merely dozing off at an event.
Besides executing Young-jin, Kim has also punished Kim Yong-chol, the head of the United Front Department of his party.
Young-chol handled spying operations against South Korea. He had been sent to a reeducation camp in July for a month because Kim suspected that Young-chol was abusing his power. Young-chol is the same man who South Korea accuses of heading the artillery barrage on South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in 2010 which left four dead. South suspects that Young-chul will now target South Korea even more to prove his loyalty to Kim.
Another leader, Choe Hui, a deputy chief of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, was sent to reeducation camp.
Kim is seen as a despot by the Western powers and their allies in Asia-Pacific. To his own people Kim is a demi-God and to North Korea’s only ally, China, he is the peg whose nuclear-power country is a threat to everyone else in the region.