Report: North Korea executes army chief of staff

Special to

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un continued his series of purges as army chief of staff Ri Yong-Gil was executed, according to a report on Feb. 10.

Ri Yong-Gil
Ri Yong-Gil

Ri, who was chief of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff, was executed earlier this month “for corruption and factional conspiracy,” Yonhap and other South Korean media reported.

Since taking power after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2011, Kim Jong-Un has changed his military chief several times.

In May 2015, Pyongyang executed its then-defense chief by anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said in a report to members of parliament.

North Korea rarely issues public announcements related to purges or executions of high-level officials, though it did so in 2013 with the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, Kim Jong-Un’s uncle and the man who was once considered the second most powerful figure in the country.

A source familiar with North Korean affairs also told Reuters that Ri had been executed. The source declined to be identified. Yonhap did not identify its sources.