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North Korea Caliber Overkill: Executed by Anti-Aircraft

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Numerous reports are emerging from South Korea of another over-the-top political execution in North Korea. According to the ROK Unification Ministry, North Korea's autarch, Kim Jong Un, ordered the death of one Kim Yong Jin by firing squad.

With an anti-aircraft gun.

Caliber Overkill: Executed by Anti-Aircraft

North Korean official Kim Yong Jin, Vice Premier since 2012, apparently evinced a lack of enthusiasm or respect by failing to keep his posture upright during a public event. His slouching became an object lesson to other North Korean officials sometime last months.

Kim Yong Jin, 63, previously served as North Korea's education minister.

Details are sketchy, of course, but South Korean spokesman Jeong Joon-hee has confirmed the execution through “various channels” without providing details. The last time North Korea actually confirmed any state-administered capital punishment was four years ago, when the government there acknowledged the death of Jang Song Thaek (Kim Jong Un's uncle). Thaek was reportedly killed for “crimes damaging to the economy.” According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, Jin was just one of as many as 100 officials executed at Kim Jong Un's behest.


Another North Korean official, General Kim Yong Chol, was reportedly “re-educated” at an unknown rural location in order to correct his demeanor. Chol was head of North Korea's United Front Department, which is tasked with handling inter-Korean relations. A former intelligence official, he is though to have been behind the sinking of the Pohang class corvette ROKS Cheonan in March of 2010.North-Korean-Issues

Ahn Young-joon/ AP Photo A man watches a TV screen showing a file image of Kim Yong Jin, second from left, a vice premier on education affairs in North Korea's cabinet, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right.

These latest disciplinary “corrective actions” come soon after the defection of North Korea's Deputy Ambassador in London, with his family, to South Korea. It was an event that likely did little to improve the mercurial and petulant North Korean dictator's mood.

The specific weapon used has not been, nor likely ever will be confirmed. For that matter the veracity of the entire story may always remain at least somewhat in doubt. That said, if Kim Yong Jin was indeed killed with an anti-aircraft weapon, it was likely something big and old. Most likely it was something along the lines of their Type 74 NORINCO P793, a WWII era twin-barreled adaptation of a single-barreled Soviet gun firing a 37mm shell at about 1,000m/second. Alternatively it could have been a Type 55 KS-19 — that's a 100mm weapon, and might make a bit of a mess aimed just at one poor soul. Either one would have made quite an impression upon anyone watching.

You can read more here from Reuters or here on Stripes.

Cover image courtesy of

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