North Korea is reported to have carried out the latest in a series of high-profile executions.
Army Chief of Staff Ri Yong Gil is said to have been “expunged for corruption and factional conspiracy”. The unverified report comes from neighbouring South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
North Korea seldom publically announces the executions or purges of high-level officials. One rare confirmation from the secretive state came in 2013 with the execution of Jang Song Thaek, leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle, who was once considered second in command.
According to reports, Army Chief Gil has not been seen publically since January and was not present at Pyongyang’s internationally-condemned satellite launch on February 7.
There have been previous instances of North Korean officials disappearing for extended periods of time, only to resurface at a later date.