North Korean officials have confirmed that Hyon Yong Choi, the hermit kingdom’s former defense minister, was put to death for “insubordination,” South Korean media outlet YTN reported Monday.
YTN uncovered the information after it was relayed from the North Korean embassy in China, according to YTN.
North Korean despot Kim Jong-un was upset with Hyon after he showed “disregard” for the dictator in a meeting, South Korean paper Chosun Ilbo reported. Kim responded in force and executed Hyon “for insubordination and disobeying the party leadership,” UPI writes.
According to the report, Hyon was napping during a meeting, causing Kim to consider the offense one that reached a treasonous level. Chosun Ilbo reported that Hyon would frequently become bored during meetings and would resort to napping as a way to pass the time.
Kim’s dissatisfaction with Hyon reached its climax when the dictator asked his defense minister a question during a meeting and found that Hyon was unresponsive. It was then that Kim concluded that his defense minister must be detained, punished, and later executed, the South Korean paper reported.
Chosun Ilbo reports that Kim’s leadership has become increasingly tyrannical: “The fact that Hyon was executed within days without waiting for approval from the Workers Party, just like former Army chief Ri Yong-ho and eminence grise Jang Song-taek, demonstrates just how volatile Kim has become.”
Hyon is not the first high-ranking official to be executed for what the North Korean dictator considers treasonous behavior. Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was previously a defense official for Pyongyang, was executed in 2013 by a machine gun firing squad.