Report: N. Korea executes officials with anti-aircraft guns for 'enraging' Kim Jong Un

Jane Onyanga-Omara
New report claims North Korean officials were executed for “enraging” leader Kim Jong Un

North Korea executed five senior security officials for making false reports that "enraged" leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Monday.

The five were killed with anti-aircraft guns, the National Intelligence Service said in a private briefing to lawmakers, according to the news agency. It wasn't immediately clear what the "false reports" were, but they appeared to be unrelated to the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un, two weeks ago.

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Lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo said the officials worked in the department of the former state security chief Kim Won Hong, who was dismissed in January amid allegations of corruption and human rights abuses.

Lee said the firing of Kim Won Hong was linked to the false reports, which "enraged" Kim Jong Un when he discovered them.

Kim Jong Un has reportedly executed or purged a large number of high-level government officials since taking power in 2011.

The news of the executions came as South Korea's spy agency said Monday that Pyongyang was behind the assassination of Kim Jong Nam.

The National Intelligence Service told lawmakers that four of the eight suspects in the killing worked for Pyongyang's Ministry of State Security and two others were employed by the foreign ministry.

The Malaysian health minister said Sunday that Kim Jong Nam died within 20 minutes after being daubed with a nerve agent at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia on Feb. 13.

Authorities said the two women from Vietnam and Indonesia who are accused of poisoning him said they were duped by North Korean men who told them it was a prank for a reality TV show. The substance was identified as the VX nerve agent, classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.