Ten officials of North Korea’s Workers Party have been shot dead for charges ranging from graft to watching South Korean soap operas, the International Business Times reports.
According to Lim Dae Sung, an aide to ruling South Korean Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo, the latest deaths are part of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s round of purges to erase his dead uncle’s influence.
It was in December that Kim had his uncle Jang Song Thaek killed over charges of factionalism, graft and sexual misconduct, reports Bloomberg.
Kim recently put in an appearance after many weeks following surgery to remove a cyst, amidst speculations on his long absence.
Kim exercises control over North Korea’s 1.2 million troops and a nuclear arms programme, after taking over the 24-million-strong nation from his father Kim Jong-il who died in 2011.
Kim, who is a fan of western cartoon shows and characters like Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Minnie Mouse, has not taken kindly to a Western action-comedy movie that depicts an attempt to assassinate him. He has pledged to “mercilessly destroy” anyone associated with the movie.
Kim had recently threatened to strengthen the country’s nuclear programme following the memoirs of a former CIA director which takes a strong line against Pyongyang.