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NK leader had vice premier executed with gun: sources

All Headlines 18:41 August 12, 2015

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of the country's vice premier by shooting earlier this year, sources said Tuesday, in another sign of the leader's reign of terror.

Vice Premier Choe Yong-gon was executed in May as he had expressed discomfort against the young leader's forestation policy, according to the sources.

South Korea's state spy agency earlier said that the North Korean leader has tightened grip on his power base in a brutal way, including the execution of about 70 senior officials.

In late 2013, Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of Jang Song-thaek, the husband of Kim's aunt and once the country's second most powerful figure, on charges of treason. The North's former defense chief Hyun Yong-chol is believed to have been executed in April for his disloyalty toward Kim.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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