This photo taken on February 16, 2015 shows North Korean Defense Minister Hyon Yong-Chol (R) standing with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (front L) at Kumsusan Palace in Pyongyang. AFP PHOTO / YONHAP
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North Korea executed its defense chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul's National Intelligence Service told lawmakers, the latest in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took charge in Pyongyang.Hyon Yong Chol, 66, who headed the isolated country's military, was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim and falling asleep during an event at which North Korea's young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency Wednesday.In all, around 70 officials have been executed since Kim took over after his father's death in 2011, Yonhap news agency cited the NIS as saying.Hyon, a little-known general, was promoted within the military at the same time as Kim Jong Un in 2010 .The South Korean spy agency told lawmakers that Ma Won Chun, known as North Korea's chief architect of new infrastructure under Kim, was also purged or punished, the lawmakers said.
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