A vice minister for forestry was one of the officials executed for complaining about a state policy, a member of parliament’s intelligence committee, Shin Kyung-min, quoted an unnamed National Intelligence Service official as saying.
“Excuses or reasoning doesn’t work for Kim Jong-un, and his style of rule is to push through everything, and if there’s any objection, he takes that as a challenge to authority and comes back with execution as a showcase,” Mr Shin said.
“In the four months this year, 15 senior officials are said to have been executed,” Mr Shin cited the intelligence official as saying, according to his office ::::
In 2013, Mr Kim purged and executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang’s leadership circle, for corruption and committing crimes damaging to the economy, along with a group of officials close to him.
Mr Kim has also reshuffled close aides and senior officials repeatedly since taking office.
South Korea’s spy agency also expected Mr Kim to travel to Moscow this month to attend an event marking the end of World War II in Europe, although there was no independent confirmation of the plan, Mr Shin said after the spy agency briefing.
North Korea has not booked a hotel in Moscow for Mr Kim’s stay, but the country’s embassy was equipped to accommodate its leader, Mr Shin said, quoting the spy agency official.
The visit would be Mr Kim’s first overseas trip since he took power in 2011 after the death of his father.
Russia has said Mr Kim would attend the May 9 event marking the 70th anniversary of the war’s end in Europe, although officials in Seoul have cautioned that there was no official confirmation from the North.
Some analysts have questioned whether Mr Kim, believed to be in his early 30s, would choose for his first overseas visit an event where he would share the stage with several leaders and have less control over proceedings than in a two-way summit.
South Korean president Park Geun-hye has decided not to attend the function.
US president Barack Obama and many European leaders are staying away, but Chinese president Xi Jinping and the heads of many former Soviet republics are expected to attend.
Police in the UK recently – October 2014 – intervened in a diplomatic stoush after North Korean embassy officials reportedly told a London hairdresser to take down a discount haircuts advert featuring leader Kim Jong-Un.
The Kim Jong-un Cut, It’s Practical, Keeps The Hair Out of Your Eyes While You’re Running You’re Hermit Kingdom
Hairdresser Mo Nabbach said two officials identifying themselves as being from the Stalinist state’s mission took pictures of his M&M Hair Academy in Ealing, west London.
They then demanded to know his name and ordered him to remove the “disrespectful” poster from the salon window, he told the Evening Standard newspaper.
The poster featured a large picture of Kim’s distinctive short-back-and-sides hairdo with the slogan: “Bad hair day? 15 percent off all gent cuts through the month of April.”
“I told them this is England and not North Korea and told them to get their lawyers,” the newspaper quoted Mr Nabbach as saying.
“The two guys were wearing suits and they were very serious. It was very threatening.”
Mr Nabbach, who is also a fashion photographer, said he had since removed the offending picture.
His son Karim said they had put up the poster in response to a recent unconfirmed story that North Korean men are now only allowed to wear the same haircut as their young leader, who took power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011.
“We didn’t realise but the North Korean embassy is a 10-minute walk from the salon,” he said.
“The next day we had North Korean officials pop into the salon asking to speak to the manager.
“He (Mo Nabbach) went to Ealing police station afterwards to file a report just in case anything happened to the salon overnight. Apparently they (the apparent North Korean officials) went to the police as well.
“We haven’t had any trouble since then, if anything the poster has become a tourist attraction. It was just something that had been in the news, and the North Korean officials didn’t even have the haircut.
“We always put up little offers in the window, it’s harmless. We were just making light of a bad situation in North Korea.”
Police confirmed that they had stepped in to resolve the issue.
“Officers spoke to both parties involved and no offence was disclosed,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
There was no immediate response from the North Korean embassy, located in a suburban London house, less than three kilometres from the salon.
The Kim family has ruled the country for more than six decades with an iron fist and a pervasive personality cult.
Kim Jong-Un’s haircut is strikingly similar to that of his grandfather Kim Il-Sung, reinforcing efforts by the young leader to project himself more in the image of the state’s founder leader than of his father.
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