2011: Two leaflet-readers 1638: Four Frenchmen in effigy

2011: Ryu Kyong, Kim Jong-un rival

January 4th, 2012 Headsman

Sometime in early January — nobody seems to know quite when — North Korean intelligence official Ryu Kyong disappeared, apparently executed.

The number two man, and perhaps de facto number one man, in the State Security Department and a longtime Kim Jon-il ally, Ryu was reportedly “summoned by Kim Jong-il in early January and on his way to Kim’s residence, was arrested by members of the General Guard Bureau. He was interrogated and secretly executed.”

Speculative reason: the Leader viewed Ryu as having grown too powerful, and therefore as a potential rival to a clean succession for Kim Jong-un.

“With Ryu, many others were purged at the State Security Department,” a Seoul analyst said. “We can say that as he gained control of the department, Kim Jong-un needed to give jobs to people loyal to him.”

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,History,Korea,North Korea,Notable Participants,Politicians,Power,Ripped from the Headlines,Shot,Torture,Uncertain Dates

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