North Korea Says Kim Urges Crackdown on ‘Rebellious Elements’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged nationwide efforts to crack down on “rebellious elements” in society, the country’s state-run Korea Central News Agency said.

Kim delivered the message to a national meeting of chiefs of social security units and other security personnel yesterday, KCNA reported today.

Security forces should find rebellious people who are maneuvering behind the scenes “to destroy our unity,” and those waiting to act, and “mercilessly crush all of them,” KCNA cited Kim as saying. The report didn’t give any details of such activities.

Kim became head of the totalitarian state in December, following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, who ruled the secretive nation from 1994 to 2011. He took the country’s top rank of marshal in July, securing his power as leader of the impoverished nation’s 1.2 million-strong armed forces. The promotion came days after Kim fired veteran army chief Ri Yong Ho, in the biggest publicly revealed power shift since his succession.

Last month, Kim called for vigilance by the security ministry to protect the sovereignty of the nation, according to a KCNA report issued on the same day as the South Korean Defense Ministry said a soldier defected to the South after shooting two officers.

Yesterday’s security meeting was held in the capital, Pyongyang, for the first time in 13 years, and was the first since Kim became chairman of the National Defense Commission, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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