North Korea's leader ordered bodyguards to poison his aunt
North Korea's "supreme leader" ordered his bodyguards to poison his aunt, according to a defector.
Kim Jong-un, who inherited the leadership of Asia's Stalinist state at the age of 30, appears to preside over a court riven by murder and intrigue. In 2013, he executed his uncle by marriage, Jang Sung-taek, and then denounced his victim as "human scum".
Jang was married to Kim Kyong-hui, an aunt of Mr Kim. After her husband's death, Mrs Kim disappeared from public view. Reports claimed variously that she had committed suicide, suffered a heart attack or succumbed to a stroke. In February, South Korea's intelligence service reported that Mrs Kim was still alive.
But a defector from the regime - going by the name "Mr Park" - claims Mrs Kim suffered death by poisoning last May on the orders of her nephew.
"Kim Jong-un ordered his aunt, Kim Kyong-hui to be killed," the defector told CNN. "Only his bodyguard unit - Unit 974 - knew this. Now senior officials also know she was poisoned."
This purge also saw the deaths of 30 aides of Mrs Kim and her husband, according to Mr Park. Some were supposedly executed by firing squads armed not with rifles but machine guns.
South Korean intelligence believes that Mr Kim has ordered the killing of 15 senior officials so far this year.
North Korea said the claim that Mr Kim had killed his aunt was "malicious slander". (© Daily Telegraph, London)