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North Korea's Latest Purge: Execution by Flamethrower

By Joe Battaglia   |   Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 10:52 AM

Korean media are reporting that a government minister with ties to Kim Jong Un's recently executed uncle has been burned alive as part of the regime's latest purge of perceived dissidents.

The Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea's leading newspapers, quoted an anonymous source in reporting that O Sang Hon, North Korea's deputy public security minister, was "executed by flamethrower."

This execution was reportedly part of a three-pronged campaign by Kim's administration to shut down the Worker's Party department once headed by his uncle, Jang Song-taek, who was put to death in December.

The first purge targeted Jang's family, relatives, and high-ranking party officials. Jang's elder sister Kye-sun, her husband, ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin, their son-in-law Kim Yong-ho, who headed a trading company, and 11 other confidants and officials were also executed.

The ongoing second purge is being directed at 200 of his core supporters and another 1,000 loyalists. A third purge will look to sweep out his followers in provincial chapters of the Workers Party.

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According to sources, the State Security Department has been authorized by the highest court in North Korea to deliver death sentences through closed-door trials and to inter the families of those who have been sentenced to death in concentration camps without trial.

If details of this latest gruesome execution are proven to be factual, it paints a ruthless picture of the depths Kim is prepared to go to eradicate any and all traces of his uncle from the record. If the story is false, it would mark the third time in recent months that a bizarre story out of North Korea has gone viral without its veracity verified.

Earlier this year, Western media outlets reported that Kim had unleashed 120 starving dogs on Jang and other political rivals.

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The story was refuted three days later,  when North Korea announced Jang's execution — by still unknown means — after accusing him of "attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state."

Last month, it was widely reported that Kim had ordered all North Korean males to copy his hairstyle. That story was also proven to be inaccurate.

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