Reuters: North Korea sacks head of secret police amid signs of 'crack in elite'
North Korea has dismissed its minister of state security, a key aide to the reclusive state's young leader, Kim Jong Un, South Korea said on Friday, in what a high-profile defector said would be another sign of a "crack in the elite" in Pyongyang if true.
Kim Won Hong was removed from office as head of the feared "bowibu", or secret police, in mid-January apparently on charges of corruption, abuse of power and human rights abuses, Jeong Joon-hee, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman, said, confirming media reports.
Jeong did not say how the South knew of Kim's ouster. But he said there could have been further dismissals in the North where the ruling Workers' Party's powerful Organisation and Guidance Department was investigating the ministry of state security.
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WNU Editor: Chinese media and AFP are also reporting that executions of officials occurred .... North Korea spy chief sacked, others killed (China Post/AFP).
More News On Reports That North Korea’s Head Of Secret Police Has Been Purged
North Korean Leader’s Top Enforcer Is Now the One Getting Purged -- New York Times
North Korean spy chief sacked in latest purge, says South Korea -- The Guardian
Seoul says North Korea has fired state security chief -- FOX News/AP
North Korea fires head of prison camp system -- CNN
Kim Jong Un Planning Purge? North Korea Executes Several Officials, Fires State Security Ministry’s Chief Kim Won Hong On Power Abuse Suspicion -- IBTimes
A 'Purge' or 'Care'? Top North Korean General Dismissed and Demoted -- Sputnik