A top North Korean military official was killed last week at the order of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, Fox News reported Wednesday.
The Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, Gen. Ri Yong-Gil, was reportedly executed following accusations of corruption and pursuing personal gains, sources reportedly told the Yonhap agency.
“Ri Yong-Gil is known to have been faithful to principles, so it appears the North cited [the charges] to justify his execution,” one source told Fox News.
The military commander was put to death while Kim chaired a joint meeting of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party and the military last week, the source added.
If Ri was in fact executed, his death would come less than a year after Kim reportedly ordered the killing of his then-defense minister.
“This shows that Kim Jong-Un is very nervous about the armed forces,” one source said. “It also shows his reign of terror continues.”
That same source suggested Ri might have voiced his disapproval of Kim’s recent decision to appoint party leaders to key military posts. Another suggestion was that members of the party leadership might have been plotting to get rid of him.
Ri was appointed to his position in 2013 by Kim. His initial popularity with the supreme leader meant that he attended numerous military exercises conducted by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces.
But Ri has been missing from the public view for about a month. The general was not present at the joint meeting of the party and the military or at the events held in Pyongyang to celebrate the successful launch of a satellite over the weekend.
North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper did not mention Ri in their list of leaders present at the celebration. Instead, it listed former security minister General Ri Myong-Su in his place.
Developments in the investigation have been slow. No further details could be confirmed Wednesday.
(H/T: Fox News)