Kim Jong Un reportedly sentenced one of his generals to death via a tank full of piranhas located right in his own palace.
After the general was accused of plotting a coup, Kim ordered the general executed, sending him to a piranha-filled tank built right inside one of his executive mansions, the Ryongsong Residence, The Daily Star reported exclusively on Sunday.
The tank is said to be filled with hundreds of Brazilian piranhas. Before the general was thrown in, officials reportedly used knives to slice open his arms and torso, but it’s not known whether his death was immediately caused by the wounds, the fish, or drowning.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) June 10, 2019
The method was apparently inspired by the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” in which a character was executed in a tank filled with sharks.
It is the latest horrific means of execution Kim employs to strike fear into his subordinates.
“The use of piranhas is classic Kim. He is all about using fear and terror as a political tool. Whether or not the use of piranhas is an efficient way of killing someone won’t bother him,” a UK intelligence source told The Daily Star.
“Kim rules by fear. Many enemies of the state are executed in public. He wants everyone to know, including his most trusted aides, that they are at risk of suffering a very unpleasant death if he suspects they are treasonous,” the source added.
The source noted that Kim ordered executions for his own family members, and for “crimes” as small as not clapping as loud as he demanded.
Kim makes his consequences known by holding public executions and even forcing his citizens to watch. North Korea is one of about three nations to continue doing so.
Sarah Son, the research director for the South Korean non-profit Transitional Justice Working Group, co-authored a report that includes interviews with 600 North Korean escapees, many of whom were witness to some 300 public executions.
“It’s a clear tactic, it serves a purpose,” Son told the Los Angeles Times. “It maintains that culture of fear, it asserts regime control, it reminds people that certain crimes are not tolerated,” she added.
While using the executions to maintain control over his people, Kim has taken efforts to conceal the acts from the outside world. Some of those North Korean escapees from Son’s report said guards scanned witnesses with metal detectors to identify and confiscate cell phones.
A report in February said that at least 15 North Korean officials were executed by Kim’s orders in the nine years since he assumed power. More than 400 were banished from the regime.