North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed at least five senior officials in the country’s Ministry of State Security using antiaircraft guns, the head of South Korea’s intelligence services told lawmakers on Monday.
The execution, which was punishment for unspecified “false reports” that were made to Mr. Kim, according to the intelligence report, came amid fresh allegations from Seoul that the Pyongyang government had ordered and coordinated the killing of Mr. Kim’s half brother in Malaysia.
In a closed-door briefing before lawmakers on Monday in Seoul, Lee Byung-ho, the director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, said that the daylight slaying of Kim Jong Nam with a deadly nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13 was “a state terrorist act, systematically organized by Kim Jong Un,” according to lawmaker Kim Byung-kee, who attended the hearing.
Mr. Lee didn’t say how the intelligence service got its information. South Korea’s spy agency sometimes errs in its assessments of developments inside North Korea, one of the world’s most closed societies. But often it is proven correct.
Mr. Lee said that all eight North Koreans involved in the killing of Mr. Kim were working for Pyongyang’s Ministry of State Security, foreign ministry or for state-affiliated companies, recruiting the two women who carried out the killing. One of the eight, Ri Jong Chol, is in the custody of Malaysian authorities, while the others are still at large.