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Murder of leader's half brother could serve as warning to NK officialdom: report

2017/02/22 10:59

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- The murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother earlier this month could serve as a clear warning to the North's officials against any acts of betrayal, a U.S.-based broadcaster reported Wednesday.

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late former leader Kim Jong-il, was killed in an airport in Malaysia on Feb. 13 after being attacked by two women, who are suspected to have used some sort of poison. It has yet to be confirmed whether North Korea was behind the latest killing, but Seoul's spy agency said last week that Kim Jong-un has issued a "standing order" to murder his sibling after he assumed power in late 2011.

A source residing in the northern Ryanggang Province told Radio Free Asia that the incident is tantamount to warning the North's high-ranking officials not to be swayed by the situation in the communist country.

"Through the murder of Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un showed his willingness to its officials and residents that he will chase betrayers to the Earth's end and execute them firmly," the source was quoted as saying.

Another source in the northern Jagang Province said that the murder would give high-ranking officials such a great shock and fear that they could take it as the leader's strong warning.

The Ryanggang Province source also said the North Korean authorities began to conduct various kinds of inspections starting in mid-January, sending the officialdom in the North into great disorder, adding the North Korean leadership could use the news of the murder as an opportunity to boost internal solidarity of senior officials.

namsh@yna.co.kr

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