Friday, November 27, 2020

North Korea’s Kim vents fury as pressure mounts over virus and economy, South says

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a political meeting in Pyongyang, in a photo released by North Korean state media on Nov. 16. (Korean Central News Agency/Reuters)

Simon Denyer, Min Joo Kim
Washington Post

TOKYO — Under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and an ailing economy, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is responding with fury, allowing at least two executions in the past three months, South Korea's intelligence agency told a parliamentary briefing on Friday.

“Kim Jong Un is taking irrational actions,” opposition lawmaker Ha Tae-keung told reporters after being briefed by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service. “He is venting his anger excessively and rolling out measures that lack common sense.”

Ha said a foreign exchange dealer was executed in late October, while an official at a customs post on the Chinese border was put to death in August for failing to abide by strict rules on imports intended to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country.

“Key executives faced harsh punishment and even execution for failing to abide by virus rules,” Ha said.  Read more >>