The Korea Herald

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'Purged' official absent in Kim Jong-un's field visit

By 이다영

Published : May 24, 2015 - 10:36

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North Korea's defense chief who South Korea believes was purged last month was not present during one of leader Kim Jong-un's routine field inspections, the North's state media suggested Sunday.

Earlier this month, South Korea's intelligence agency said Hyon Yong-chol, the chief of North Korea's People's Armed Forces, was executed with an anti-aircraft gun in April.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim Jong-un inspected the command of the Large Combined Unit 264 in North Hamkyong Province, accompanied by Hwang Pyong-so, the vice marshal of the Korean People's Army, and Jang Chang-hwa, a major general.

Hyon, however, was not mentioned as being part of Kim's entourage.

Kim said his father, Kim Jong-il, had visited the command dozens of times, the KCNA reported. The younger Kim reportedly told the command officials never to forget the high expectations his father had of them.

Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack in 2011. (Yonhap)