In the latest story of a punishment out of the Middle Ages, North Korea allegedly used a flame thrower to execute a follower of President Kim Jong Un's uncle and former second in command, who himself was put to death in January.
The Washington Post said the report of the flame-thrower execution
came from South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo. The man killed, O Sang Hon, was deputy public security minister.
After Jong Un had his uncle executed, he shuttered the bureaucracy he once headed, the Workers Party department, killing or imprisoning 11 associated high-ranking officials, as well as roughly 100 lower-ranking officials.
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The South Korean newspaper cited the killing as being the second part of a three-part purge campaign to destroy any lingering support or loyalty to his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek. The third purge will reportedly target supporters in provincial chapters of the Workers Party.
Jang Song-Thaek's family was killed in the first purge, with the exception of Jang Yong-Chol, his nephew, who was kept in a concentration camp before being ordered to return to the capital, Pyongyang.
The flame-thrower execution was apparently reserved for O Sang Hon after he turned his ministry into a personal protection squad for Jang Song-Thaek.
The Washington Post cautioned that the story hasn't been confirmed by a second news source, and that readers should keep in mind that many Western media outlets incorrectly reported a sensational but false story earlier this year about Jang Song-Thaek, who was said to have been eaten by 120 ravenous dogs.
The flame-thrower report could be an attempt to garner clicks and social media shares, the newspaper noted.
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