North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly led a new and deadly crackdown in the secretive state.
He is said to have ordered the executions of 15 people this year, including senior officials forced to face the firing squad for challenging his authority.
Two vice ministers were among those shot dead according to the South Korean spy agency, which has reported its findings to a closed-door parliamentary session.
It is claimed four orchestra members were also executed, apparently for espionage.
North Korea’s First Lady Ri Sol-ju once worked as a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra.
It is suggested those from the orchestra who were put to death may have been accused of leaking secrets about the family of Kim, who had his once powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek executed in a purge in 2013.