Rise in N.Korea's public executions may be attempt to quash dissent

Dec. 7, 2013 at 12:57 PM   |   0 comments

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- North Korea has publicly executed about 40 people this year, an escalation a South Korean lawmaker says may be part of new efforts to suppress internal dissent.

Citing intelligence from the South Korean National Intelligence Service, Rep. Cho Won-jin said the number is a dramatic increase from the 17 public executions in 2012, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.

"These executions are aimed at setting an example and quelling complaints from within," Cho said.

NIS reported recently that Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has apparently been removed from his posts. Two of Jang's aides were publicly executed.

If the report is true, a major power shift may be under way in Pyongyang.

NIS chief Nam Jae-joon confirmed a brother-in-law and nephew to Jang had been forcefully recalled to North Korea, Rep. Jung Chung-rai said in the joint press briefing.

With Jang out of the way, Nam told lawmakers, the recent changes could contribute to instability in the regime even though Kim's hold on power seems secure.

Topics: Kim Jong
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