Seoul: North Korea "executes vice premier"

North Korea has executed one of its vice premiers by firing squad, a South Korean government official told dpa.

Kim Yong Jin, in charge of education in the Pyongyang cabinet, was executed last month for unnamed reasons, according a spokesman at the South Korean Unification Ministry.

Yonhap news agency said the 63-year-old had been accused of "showing a bad attitude" during a parliamentary meeting in June.

North Korea has not confirmed or denied reports of Kim's death.

The South Korean spokesman said Pyongyang had also sent two officials to a farm for a month of "re-education."

North Korea's head of the United Front Department, responsible for relations with South Korea, was said to be resuming his position after a month's hard labour ending in August.

The sentence for Choe Hwi, a party official for propaganda, has not yet ended.

The execution of the vice premier is the latest such incident in the secretive state since Kim Jong Un became leader in December 2011, with South Korean President Park Geun Hye openly condemning her northern counterpart's "reign of terror."

Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek was also executed in 2013 for "counter-revolutionary" actions, according to Pyongyang state media.

However it is difficult to confirm reports out of the country.

In February, chief of the general staff of the armed forces, General Ri Yong Gil, was reportedly executed on charges of corruption, according to Yonhap.

In May, however, he reportedly reappeared on a list of attendees of a Workers' Party of Korea congress.

Last update: Wed, 31/08/2016 - 15:40

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