A senior North Korean military leader has been executed for "factionalism, misuse of authority and corruption,"a South Korean government official with knowledge of North Korean affairs told CNN Thursday. The official declined however to give further details regarding the conditions of Gen. Ri Yong-gil, chief of the North Korean Army's general staff's execution. Ri was appointed to the position in 2013, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
His execution is the latest in a string of high-profile officials that have been purged in a dramatic fashion. The official said the execution continues a brutal consolidation of power by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and that the move is a show of strength. "It is another way for Kim Jong Un to show he is in power. He is still young, and still learning who is on his side and who is not," said Kang. "The people who are on the wrong side become disposable."
North Korea insists the launch was to put a satellite into orbit, but it was viewed by other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, as a front for a ballistic missile test. Washington approved a further series of sanctions against Pyongyang's regime. In May of last year, Hyon Yong-chol, the country's defense minister, was publicly executed after the regime accused him of treason. He was reportedly killed with an anti-aircraft gun.