North Korea has reportedly executed five government officials after they were overheard criticising Kim Jong-un’s policies.
The Economic Ministry workers were shot on July 30 by a firing squad, reports Mail Online.
This comes as the workers were accused of speaking against the economic policies of the state.
Officials were heard criticising the regime’s policies at a dinner party and were summoned into a meeting.
They were then arrested and allegedly killed.
According to reports, the five members of staff spoke about the stagnant economy and the need for industrial reform.
Speaking to the DailyNK, an internal North Korean source said: “Five executives of the Central Party’s economic ministry were stigmatised as anti-party sectarian actors who criticised the party’s economic policies, and were shot privately by the National Security Agency on July 30.”
This comes as North Korea has an estimated 60% of people living below the poverty line.
Comments made by the employees were shared with Kim Jong-un, before an investigation was launched.
After the probe was launched, the workers were forced to confess that they had undermined the regime, before being executed.
It was also reported the families of those executed were transferred to a political camp in Yodeok, Hamgyeongnam-do.
The camp is known for housing political dissidents, notes the Mail Online.
In the past, any sign of dissidence has been met with execution.
At least 10 officials are believed to have been purged under the orders of Kim Jong-un, including his uncle Jang Song-thaek it has been alleged.
This kind of brutality is far from unusual in North Korea and in the past has been leveraged against the public for an array of offences.
Defector Jang Jin-sung detailed some of the barbaric acts carried out against citizens in his 2014 memoir ‘Dear Leader’ – most notably the execution of a man who was starving to death.