North Korea’s controversial leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his military chief Army General Ri Yong Gil, according to a South Korean news agency.
Ri was executed last week on charges of corruption and pursuing personal gains at around the same time Kim was in a meeting with the military, sources reportedly told Yonhap News Agency.
The military chief was appointed to the post in 2013 and reportedly accompanied Kim on inspection trips until last month.
But last week Ri was absent at events including a military meeting and North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper did not mention him. Instead, General Ri Myong Su was listed in his place.
The source told the news agency Ri may have objected to Kim’s recent appointment of party leaders to key military posts and added: “Ri Yong Gil is known to have been faithful to principles, so it appears the North cited (the charges) to justify his execution.”
Although the execution has not been confirmed, it comes less than a year after Kim ordered the execution of defence minister Hyon Yong Chol.
“This shows that Kim Jong Un is very nervous about the armed forces,” the source added. “It also shows his reign of terror continues.”