N. Korea Executed 15 for Challenging Kim: Report

One official didn't like his plan for a flower-shaped building
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2015 8:39 AM CDT
N. Korea Executed 15 for Challenging Kim: Report
In this July 27, 2013 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to spectators and participants of a mass military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

(Newser) – North Korea has reportedly executed at least 15 people this year, including a vice forestry minister who criticized the country's forestation plan. Two South Korean lawmakers, briefed by the country's spy agency, say another senior official was killed for fighting Kim Jong Un's plan to erect a flower-shaped building in honor of North Korea's founder, reports the AP. The head of the Unhasu Orchestra—to which Kim's resurfaced wife belonged—and three members were also killed over espionage charges, which one lawmaker assumes means the alleged leaking of secrets about Kim's family, Yonhap News reports.

"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," a rep from South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee says, per the BBC. In a closed-door meeting today, the spy agency also noted it expects Kim to make his first official visit abroad next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Russia, Reuters reports. Russia says the trip is happening, though there's been no confirmation from Pyongyang. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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