in a photo from the Mar. 12 edition of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper. Kim traveled to the unit just with his sister
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has already executed 15 senior officials this year as part of his ‘reign of terror’, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported on Apr. 29. South Korea’s intelligence agency also thinks it is likely that Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un‘s younger sister and vice director of the Workers Party, will give birth next month.
The NIS reported at a Wednesday meeting with the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee that Kim Jong-un had executed 15 high-ranking officials in the first four months of 2015, according to Saenuri Party (NFP) lawmaker Lee Cheol-woo and New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) lawmaker Shin Gyeong-min, the senior representatives for their parties on the committee.
“As a ruler, Kim Jong-un insists on results and doesn‘t want to hear excuses. He regards disagreement as a challenge to his authority and has people executed to set an example,” the NIS said.
As a result, a vice minister-level official named Rim Eop-song was executed in January for complaining about the policy of reforestation, and the vice chair of the National Planning Committee (another vice minister-level position) was executed in February, the NIS said. This second official had opposed an order by Kim Jong-un to alter the shape of the roof of a science and technology center being built on the banks of the Taedong River from a dome to the Kimilsungia flower, citing the difficulties of construction and delays to the schedule.
Seoul’s spy agency also reported that in March, four members of the Unhasu Orchestra - including its director, who had been linked to a pornographic video - had been sent to the firing squad on charges of espionage. Since Kim Jong-un came to power, the NIS estimates that 17 senior officials were executed in 2012, 10 in 2013, and 41 in 2014.
Following speculation this past January that Kim Yo-jong may be pregnant, the NIS reported that she is likely to give birth next month. Her husband is believed to be a former classmate of her from Kim Il-sung University.
It’s highly likely that Kim Jong-un will visit Russia next month, the NIS also said. “We have confirmed that no hotel reservations have been made for Kim in Moscow. However, since North Korea’s embassy in Moscow has adequate sleeping facilities, hotel reservations don’t seem to matter.”
North Korea has gotten rid of one of its seven cyber hacking organizations, taking the number down to six (with 1,700 workers), the NIS reported. At the same time, it has added four support organizations, increasing the number from 13 (4,200) to 17 (5,100).
By Seo Bo-mi, staff reporter
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