30 North Korean Officials Dead in “Staged Traffic Accidents”
Thirty North Korean officials in talks with South Korea have died (read: were executed) in car crashes, alleged by Amnesty International as staged hits.
Amnesty International’s annual study alleges that in addition to the 30 dead from the government’s purges last year, another 200 were either executed or sent to concentration camps as power changed hands from Kim Jong-il to son Kim Jong-un after the former’s death in December. The 200 are added to an estimated 200,000 in the system, living in “horrific conditions” according to Amnesty.
In what is probably not a surprise to anyone, North Korea makes a casual practice out of killing officials who have “failed” the government, even though said bureaucrats are usually simply following the regime’s orders. The 30 executed were singled out for failing to improve Pyongyang’s ties with Seoul, but are really more like scapegoats for the breakdown in communications North and South of the border, according to The Telegraph.
Maybe North Korea’s stubborn insistence upon building and testing nuclear weapons has something to do with that…
Despite a botched and universally damned attempt, North Korea is still pushing ahead, polishing its latest plans to test a nuclear device. Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Defense, said that intel shows that North Korea is done with the technical aspects of the tests and could launch at any time. Satellite images of the Punggye-ri site and other data seem to confirm this suspicion.
Frighteningly enough, the test is though to coincide with Memorial Day. Tomorrow.
“The North Korean regime is hell-bent on being a belligerent actor,” said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. “And I think that on holidays or sad commemorations like Memorial Day weekend is when the leadership tries to provoke the democratic allies into action.”
Will North Korea launch its test tomorrow? I haven’t decided yet on whether or not to hold my breath.