North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent his key aide to a local farm in early November as punishment for the mishandling of a power plant construction project, South Korea’s state spy agency said Tuesday.
Choe Ryong-hae, the communist party’s secretary, appears to have been receiving re-education at a cooperative farm in an unidentified province starting this month due to his responsibility for water leakage from the newly built hydroelectric power station, according to the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
The NIS told lawmakers that Choe, secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea, was punished for the problem at the power station near the North’s border with China. It also added that there was a disagreement between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Choe.
Despite the punishment, Choe seems to be able to be reinstated, given the nature of his crime is seen as relatively lighter than that of Jang Song-thaek, who was executed in early 2013.
The agency’s report was later released to the public by a lawmaker after it was reported to lawmakers in a closed session.
Choe’s whereabouts has been under intense media highlight since he was found to have been omitted from a list of a committee that prepared for a state funeral of a North Korean military marshal in early November. Read more