Top North Korean military official vanishes, sparking rumors of another purge by Kim Jong-Un

by WorldTribune Staff, December 15, 2017

Kim Jong-Un may have ordered the execution of a senior military leader who has not been seen in public since Oct. 13, reports said.

Hwang Pyong-So, a vice marshall, vanished from public life after allegations of bribery. South Korean intelligence reported that Hwang and his top deputy, Kim Won-Hong, were expelled from the military’s General Politico Bureau.

Hwang Pyong-So with Kim Jong-Un in 2015. / Reuters

“If Hwang was indeed kicked out of the Workers’ Party, it would practically mean the end of his political career, and possibly his life, though it is unknown whether or not he is still alive,” South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo reported.

Kim Jong-Un’s recent visit to Mount Paektu may have signaled Hwang’s possible execution, Korea Jongang Daily reported. Kim usually visits the sacred mountain before he makes a significant decision, much like his father and grandfather had done.

Kim Jong-Un previously visited the mountain with his aides in November 2013, a month before ordering the execution of several officials, including his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, who was branded “worse than a dog” and “despicable human scum.” The bodies were reportedly lit on fire with flamethrowers.

Kim has previously executed his perceived enemies by various methods which reportedly include shooting them with anti-aircraft guns at a close distance and feeding them to a pack of ravenous dogs.

A rare inspection of the General Politico Bureau was conducted after reports of “impure attitude” toward the Kim Jong-Un regime, Yonhap reported.

Kim Won-Hong was reportedly sentenced to one of North Korea’s prison camps.

The two officials allegedly had been receiving favors for promotions, the Telegraph reported. Kim ordered the two officials to be punished “as a warning to others.”

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