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Kim Jong-un has executed 70 officials since taking power in 2011 in a “reign of terror” that far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father’s early rule, South Korean officials claimed yesterday.
The South’s Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se, said Mr Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, executed about 10 officials during his first years in power.
Mr Yun also said that the younger Kim’s “reign of terror affects significantly” North Koreans working overseas by inspiring them to defect to the South, but did not reveal how he obtained the details.
Mr Kim has also removed key members of the old guard through a series of purges since taking over following his father’s death.
The most spectacular purge to date was the 2013 execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, for alleged treason.
Jang was married to Kim Jong-il’s sister and was once considered the second most powerful man in North Korea.
Analysts say Mr Kim could be using fear to solidify his leadership.
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