North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year, including several who complained about the young leader’s policies, South Korea’s intelligence agency said Wednesday.
Those executed included two vice minister-level officials, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing legislators who attended a briefing by the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Both were punished for opposing or complaining about Kim’s directives, the legislators said.
The Kim dynasty has ruled reclusive and impoverished North Korea for more than six decades with an iron fist and a pervasive personality cult.
The NIS suggested Kim Jong-Un was following the well-trodden path of his father and grandfather in using regular purges and executions to ensure discipline and loyalty.
Kim had his uncle and one-time political mentor Jang Song-Thaek executed in late 2013 on an array of charges, including treason and corruption.
Jang had played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim, who took over after the death of his father and long-time ruler Kim Jong-Il in December 2011.
But analysts said Jang’s growing political power and intervention in lucrative trade deals was resented by his young nephew.