North Korean Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol, on the job for less than a year, allegedly developed a habit of falling asleep at public events. He made the mistake of doing this at an event attended by the communist dungeon state’s dictator Kim Jong-un, whose limited sense of humor about perceived insults was amply demonstrated to Hollywood last year.
Kim had him charged with treason and disobedience and had him executed in front of hundreds of North Korean officials with an anti-aircraft gun.
“In North Korea, the defence minister is mainly in charge of logistics and international exchanges,” International Business Times explains. “Policy-making is handled by the powerful National Defence Commission and the party Central Military Commission.”
According to South Korean intelligence reports cited by IBT, execution by anti-aircraft gun has become the slaughter method of choice for the North Korean regime where “treasonous” high officials are concerned. It sends a certain message to the remaining high officials.
Evidently such messages are necessary to keep Kim in power. “North Korean internal politics is very volatile these days,” analyst Michael Madden explained to Reuters. “Internally, there does not seem to be any respect for Kim Jong-un within the core and middle levels of the North Korean leadership.”
Madden thought there was no imminent danger of regime collapse, but if sackings by cannon fire continue into next year, “then we would seriously have to start looking at a contingency plan for the Korean peninsula.”
Such are the realities of life in a psychotic dictatorship—and, for South Koreans, the realities of living next to one. Actually, thanks to the recent surge in North Korean nuclear weapons production, improvements in their missile technology, and cyberwarfare, a great deal of the world lives next door to Kim Jong-un now.