SEOUL – Kim Won Hong, a major figure in North Korea’s leadership as head of the State Security Department, has been placed under house arrest after making a false report to the country’s leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s state intelligence organization said in a briefing to a parliamentary committee on Monday.
Separate from the punitive measure taken against Kim Won Hong, more than five senior officials who worked under his command were shot dead by anti-aircraft fire, Kim Byung-kee, a lawmaker from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea who attended the closed briefing, told reporters.
The intelligence agency’s report has come to provide more details after South Korea’s Unification Ministry said earlier this month Kim Won Hong had been dismissed in mid-January as the result of an inspection.
The organization led by him is known to be charged with monitoring the movement of citizens, detecting spies and punishing those seen as threatening the regime.
He emerged as a central figure in North Korea after being appointed head of the State Security Department in 2012 and was known to have led the execution of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in December 2013.
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