News Asia-Pacific

Sunday 25 February 2018

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

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korea appears as a black expanse between neighbouring China (left) and South Korea (right)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets workers during a visit to a factory Photo: REUTERS/KCNA
A screen grab from North Korea’s Korean Central Television (KCTV) station shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song-thaek being arrested
A couple walks past a television showing a report on Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leaders' uncle, at a railway station in Seoul December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Rare images show Kim Jong-un’s uncle being hauled off.
Dennis Rodman won't raise execution on North Korea trip
A live TV news programme showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek, second from right, escorted by military officers during a trial in Pyongyang, North Korea
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.

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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