North Korea has reportedly carried out the public execution of a high-ranking military official by firing squad, at the orders of leader Kim Jong Un.
Lieutenant General Hyon Ju-song was found guilty of profiting the enemy, abusing authority, and engaging in anti-Party acts after being accused of distributing extra rations of food and fuel to his troops.
Korean online newspaper Daily NK reported the incident, saying that Hyon had been on the fast track to success prior to his execution. He had risen through the ranks after starting out as an enlisted soldier, to eventually holding the official position of director of the inspection division of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces General Rear Services Bureau.
But Daily NK's source said that, "While checking the oil supplies for the Sohae Satellite Launching Station during the comprehensive inspections of wartime supplies on April 10, Hyon stated, 'We no longer have to suffer and tighten our belts to make rockets or nuclear weapons.' This was seen as an abuse of authority and a treasonous statement that opposed the Party's military-first policy.
"[Hyon] gave out instructions to send out 1 ton of fuel, 580 kg of rice, and 750 kg of corn to military officers at the Launching Station and their families. This was considered an anti-Party act violating the Ten Principles for the Establishment of the Party's One Ideology System."
The source added that the officer was further accused of "failing to maintain secrecy regarding the affairs of the Party, military, and government institutions, displaying generosity by distributing unauthorized handouts, and misrepresenting the ideology of the Party."
Hyon was executed at Kang Kon Military Academy in Pyongyang, by a firing squad made up of nine military death-row convicts; he was shot with 90 rounds.
An additional source in Pyongyang confirmed the incident to The Daily Mail, and quoted a furious Kim Jong Un as expressing that he would make an example of the officer, saying: "The ideological poisoning that is personal idolization is corrupting the chief personnel in the People's Army. We must nip the bud of ideological poisoning."
The death of Lieutenant General Hyon is just the latest reported execution of a North Korean citizen by Kim Jong Un.
Six months ago, a member of Kim's inner circle was suspected to have been killed by firing squad, as was Kim's uncle Jang Song Thaek, and former defense chief Hyon Yong-chol.
Kim is also known for other brutal methods for executing his perceived enemies. In 2016, the leader had North Korea's education minister shot with an anti-aircraft gun because of his "bad sitting posture" in parliament.
A year ago, Kim's estranged half-brother was killed with a toxic nerve agent by two alleged assassins, but the North Korean leader's involvement has not been confirmed. He also reportedly had one convict fed to a pack of ravenous dogs, and has ordered several corpses torched as an added insult following executions.
It was also reported that Kim had his aunt killed in 2014 because she was mourning over her deceased husband (whose death Kim also ordered). You get the idea.