North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of a senior Communist official with a flamethrower, according to sources inside the secretive state.
The South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper says that O Sang-hon was burned alive for his close ties to Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-taek, who was himself executed in December after being accused of using the ministry he headed to plot a coup.
A source inside the North Korean Workers Party told the paper that Mr O was executed in such a horrific way because he had “turned the ministry into Jang’s personal protection squad.”
Just after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, the new leader also ordered that a defence minister be executed by mortar round after he was seen enjoying himself during the official mourning period.
It was also reported that Jang Song-taek had been executed by being fed to a pack of dogs, but it later emerged that story came from a satirical post on Chinese social networks.
Mr O is the latest of 11 senior Workers Party members to be executed so far this year. Kim Jong-un is brutally cleansing the party of anyone who was allied to his uncle, and sources say that now he has removed all of Jang’s supporters from the upper ranks, he is moving on to local party branches.
The North Korean source said that Mr Jang’s elder sister, her husband and their son-in-law were all also executed, although did not specify how they were killed.
Mr Jang’s nephew, ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, managed to keep his life, but was instead sent to a concentration camp.