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Kim Jong-un visits fish farm without defense chief

All Headlines 09:27 May 15, 2015

SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a fish farm under the military, the North's media said Friday, without the presence of the North's defense chief, who was allegedly purged late last month.

North Korea executed Defense Minister Hyon Yong-chol in late April over his disloyalty and disrespect to Kim, South Korea's spy agency said Wednesday, in the latest sign of Kim's reign of terror.

If confirmed, it would mark another high-profile public execution by the North. In late 2013 Kim ordered the execution of his once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim gave "field guidance" to a fish farm in Sinchang, located in the North's northeastern province, under the Korean People's Army (KPA) Unit 810.

The KCNA said Kim was accompanied by senior officials, including Hwang Pyong-so, director of the general political department of the KPA, and Kim Yang-gon, director of the North's unified front department in charge of South Korea affairs.

The absence of Hyon does not mean that he was executed as the North has not officially mentioned its purge of Hyon.

There is still controversy over the authenticity of the spy agency's analysis as Hyon has appeared in TV documentary footage even after his alleged death. Usually, North Korea removes records and appearances of purged officials from its newspapers and TV footage.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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