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Thursday 28 August 2014

North Korea: Latest Kim Jong-un ‘purge’ targets close official, orders ‘execution’ of 33 others

Published 06/03/2014 | 10:36

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) walks during a trip to give field guidance to the Pyongyang Weak-current Apparatus Factory, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 3, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS  THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korea appears as a black expanse between neighbouring China (left) and South Korea (right)
North Korean soldiers on the march

SOUTH Korea is currently investigating reports that leader of the North - Kim Jong-un - has embarked on a new purge, this time targeting one of his closest officials and a Christian group.

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It is understood that the dictator has ordered the execution 33 people because they made contact with Christian missionary Kim Jung-wook.

And there is growing speculation that the North Korean leader’s former ally - Choe Ryong-hae -  has been imprisoned and is under interrogation.

The latest speculation comes just months after the high-profile execution of Kim's uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

Once on such friendly terms with the Kim family,  Choe used to call former leader Kim Jong II ‘brother.’

And when the current leader took over the regime, Choe’s power grew further and the death of the uncle cemented his position as one of Pyongyang’s most senior leaders.

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