North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the death of his defense chief over a number of slights, via an anti-aircraft gun, a South Korean spy agency said Wednesday.
Hyon Yong Chol, the North Korean People's Armed Forces Minister, was executed in from of hundreds of military personnel at the Kang Kon Military Academy on either April 29 or 30, National Intelligence Service officials said during a meeting of South Korea's parliamentary committee.
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South Korean assemblyman Kim Kwang-jin said that authorities in his nation "were told that according to collected information, the NIS believes Hyon was publicly executed for behaving disrespectfully despite Kim Jong-un's previous warnings and also for dozing off at official events."
Hyon had irked the elusive Kim Jong Un over other factors, among them: not following his orders, talking back and griping about him behind his back. One news agency, Yonhap, said the killing couldn't be completely confirmed, as North Korea hadn't announced it.
The military official was last seen publicly April 28 at a performance from the Moranbong Band in Pyongyang.
North Korean Lieutenant General Ma Won Chun, one of the region's foremost architects, was also killed on the leader's orders, the NIS said.
The National Intelligence Service didn't reveal its sources to South Korean government officials, according to the East Asian nation's leaders.
North Korea expert Koh Yu-hwan, of South Korea's Dongguk University, said that Kim Jong Un's "reign of terror" could be to assert himself toward the military veterans who could potentially threaten his leadership.