North Korean Official Reportedly Executed by Flamethrower

You read that right:

According to this report in one of South Korea’s leading newspapers, The Chosun Ilbo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s administration shuttered a bureaucracy once headed by Kim’s recently-executed uncle and killed or imprisoned 11 high-ranking officials.

The morbid twist: Quoting an anonymous source, the paper reported that O Sang Hon, the deputy public security minister, was “executed by flamethrower.”

If true, the killing shows the chilling lengths to which Kim is willing to go to expunge any trace of his executed uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once a powerful player in North Korean politics. Now, months after Jang’s execution and his temporary erasure from state media, Jang’s older sister and her husband — North Korea’s ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong Jin — have also reportedly been executed.

Unlike his father and grandfather, Li'l Kim seems to think fear is all it takes to hold a totalitarian government together.

He's wrong, but he won't learn until he gets the full Ceaușescu treatment.

I know it's a fool's game trying to forecast North Korean politics, but I think we've seen enough of the current regime to say with some confidence that the end won't be pretty, and that it will be sudden.