중앙데일리

Jong-un drunk when he ordered some purges

Dec 23,2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was drunk when he ordered the execution of two aides close to his uncle Jang Song-thaek, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Saturday.

The Yomiuri cited a source that claimed Ri Ryong-ha, the first deputy director of the administrative department of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, and Jang Su-gil, a deputy director of the department, were executed because they did not immediately follow an order by Kim to hand over their control of a profitable business to the military.

The newspaper said when Kim made the order, Ri and Jang responded that they first had to report to director Jang - the man in charge of the administrative department - which made the young leader “upset.”

When Kim ordered the execution of the two aides, he was “very drunk,” the source told the Yomiuri.

After they were executed in late November, the leader ordered additional purges of Jang’s aides, the newspaper said.

“Those who were close [to the two aides] were surprised by their execution, and made phone calls to their friends living abroad, and the South Korean government [spy agency] wiretapped their phone conversations,” the newspaper said. “The South Korean government then concluded that the purge of Jang Song-thaek was inevitable, based on the testimony of people involved with the case.”

The Japanese paper said at least eight people from Jang’s circle were executed.

“So far, Kim Jong-un has deposited about $40 billion in his accounts in banks abroad, such as a local bank in Switzerland, and spent his money on presents for high-ranking officials, such as luxury watches, scotch and cars, in an effort to rally their loyalty,” the paper said. “And that money was managed by Jang Song-thaek and his aides.

“About half of his money was already spent by Jang Song-thaek’s group [for their own uses],” the paper continued. “It was uncertain whether Kim Jong-un could retrieve his money [before the execution of Jang].”

Meanwhile, a South Korean online media outlet called the Daily NK reported on Friday that many defectors turned reporters and sources in North Korea claimed that Jang’s family and relatives were all arrested after his execution, under North Korea’s guilt-by-association system.

BY KIM HYUN-KI, KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]




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