Dr John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies at the Henry Jackson Society, said that it is hard to verify stories about the “utterly bizarre” regime which has been a diplomatic basket case for decades. However, the expert said he has no reason to doubt reports of officials being executed after his meeting with Trump in Vietnam ended with no deal. Speaking with the Sun on-line, he said: “Kim was clearly angry. So I don’t doubt there are purges and that people are being removed and punished – they might be sent out to labour camps or they may be executed.”
Dr Hemmings, who briefs the UK Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence on matters relating to Asia, added that dictators such as Kim view purges as “a necessary exercise” to maintain their ruthless grip on power. He said that the 35-year-old North Korean leader is following in his dad Kim Jong-il’s footsteps. The skilled said: “When his father came to power – he purged variety of individuals United Nations agency control a claim to power.
“Many of those old revolutionaries who had fought against the Japanese – a lot of them were retired and just vanished.” He added that Kim Jong-il’s love of Hollywood movies appears to have inspired many of his son’s execution methods.
Dr Hemmings calls the assassination of Kim’s half-brother in a Malaysian airport in 2018 as “pure James Bond-stuff.”
Kim Jong-nam was killed with a nerve agent while waiting for a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport– in a murder which is widely believed to have been ordered by the North Korean regime.
In 2014, a South Korean newspaper reported that the country’s deputy public security minister O Sang Hon was “executed by flamethrower.”
However, this story came from a solitary anonymous source and has proven difficult for journalists and experts to corroborate.
Dr Hemmings said: “It’s hard to know whether these are rumours being fed by the regime to create fear or if they’re made up by North Korea’s enemies.”
The Seoul-based Transitional Justice Working Group has mapped hundreds of locations where witnesses claim North Korea carried out public slayings and extrajudicial state killings. According to the report, the public executions tended to happen near rivers, in fields and on hills, and also at marketplaces and school grounds. Family members of those sentenced are often forced to attend the killings, the researchers said.
The human rights group said its research was based on interviews conducted over four years with 610 North Korean defectors.
The skilled added: “This is Russian-style social control wherever there’s presupposed to be little question what the message is here.”
it was reported that one of the dictator’s general was thrown into a piranha-filled tank for supposedly plotting a coup to overthrow the regime.
It has been reported that the execution was inspired by 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
In 2013, Kim’s uncle Jang Song-taek was said to have been eaten alive by a pack of 120 wild dogs. But while Song-taek was murdered by the state – it soon emerged that the ‘death by hounds’ story had been made up by a Chinese spoof news site. Donald Trump revealed last month that Kim had his uncle’s severed head put on display following his execution by anti-aircraft gun. And that’s one grisly method of execution which is known to be used by the rogue state.
A defector in 2017 said she witnessed 11 people obliterated by the weaponry before their body parts were mashed into the ground by tanks.
Her statement is backed up by US satellite images from 2014 which show six Soviet-made anti-aircraft machine guns pointing at a number of people who were only 100ft away.
The authors of a report by the US Committee for Human Rights concluded: “The most plausible explanation of the scene captured in the October 7th satellite image is a gruesome public execution.”