Ri Yong Gil, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff, has been executed in North Korea for corruption and factional conspiracy according to South Korean media.
This comes just days after the isolated nation tested long-range ballistic missiles and restarted their plutonium reactors. It is also yet another ruthless killing by Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, in his still early reign.
In recent years, Un has killed his uncle – the man that many considered the second most powerful man in the country. He also killed his defense chief for corruption using anti-aircraft rounds on a shooting range.
While the reports on Ri can be independently verified since there is no independent media in North Korea, it clearly follows a pattern of deaths, purges and disappearances that have been a hallmark of Kim Jong Un.
What’s so concerning is the amount of reorganizing Un has done in his military since his father died in 2011. This instability mixed with the growing provocation of the government is cause for concern.