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  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 2:19pm

Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader of North Korea, the third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il (1941–2011) and the grandson of Kim Il-sung (1912–1994). Following his father's death in 2011, he was announced as the "Great Successor" by North Korean state television. He has held the titles of the First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and also a presidium member of the Central Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea.

NewsAsia

Is Kim Jong-un purging another high-level official? South Korea 'looking into' rumours

Unidentified sources say North Korea's number two man, Choe Ryong-hae, is in jail

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 12:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 3:17am

The South Korean government has announced that it is “looking into” rumours about the disappearance and purge of North Korea’s number two leader, Choe Ryong-hae.

Seoul’s Ministry of Unification has not yet confirmed any details, according spokesperson Kim Eui-do at a press briefing on Monday morning. 

In a report last Friday, the Seoul-based Free North Korea (FNK) Radio cited unidentified sources who said Choe Ryong-hae, who is Pyongyang’s military politburo chief and ideological watchdog, was being questioned behind bars.

The reasons behind his rumoured arrest were unknown, but they speculated that Choe had “violated the leadership system” of top leader Kim Jong-un, FNK Radio reported.

Choe was believed to have emerged as one of Pyongyang’s senior leaders after the high-profile execution of Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek, in December.

He might have fallen out of Kim’s favour because he tried to take hold of various state-run businesses after Jang’s execution, or because he was seen as a threat to Kim, reported the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo.

Rumours of Choe’s purge surfaced after he appeared to be absent from Pyongyang’s major events in late February.

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