8 Apr 2014

North Korean official ‘executed by flamethrower’

North Korea’s regime executes a high-ranking official “by flamethrower”, a South Korean newspaper reports.

Kimg Jong-un (picture: Reuters)

Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea’s major newspapers, quoted a source as saying that O Sang-hon, a deputy minister at the Ministry of Public Security, had been executed as part of a purge of people close to Kim Jong-un‘s uncle, who it was also claimed was executed in a similarly barbaric way earlier this year.

The reason for the death, the source was quoted as saying, was that O had managed a bureau in the ministry as his personal security service, and had raised the status of his guards to the same rank as officials guarding North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

It is not the first time that brutal methods of execution in North Korea have been claimed. Earlier this year a report from China claimed that Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was executed by a pack of hungry dogs – this report has never been corroborated.


The flamethrower claim has not been verified, however, it does appear that there may have been some form of new purge within North Korea’s upper echelons.

Chosun Ilbo reported that North Korea’s Workers’ Party department, once headed by Jang, had been closed and 11 high-ranking officials, including O, either executed or locked up.

The newspaper’s source said that this was the regime’s second purge of officials who supported Jang – who was executed for “treason”.

In the first purge family, relatives and high-ranking officials were dealt with, the source said, including Jang’s elder sister and her husband. In the second purge, it was reported, two of Jang’s closest confidants, Ri Yong-ha and Jang Su-gil, were purged.

Around 100 lower-ranking party officials were reported to have been sacked.