North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have executed the manager of a terrapin farm last May for not supplying sufficient food and water to the farm’s aquarium tanks, South Korean media reported on Wednesday.
According to the claims, the North Korean leader visited the farm on May 19 and his criticisms of its operation were reported in local media.
South Korean news outlet Daily NK reported that the manager of the the Taedonggang Terrapin Farm tried to defend himself by saying that a lack of electricity, water and equipment caused the problem.
Kim dismissed these excuses as “nonsensical complaints.”
North Korea announced last month that it has been hit by "the worst drought in a century," and a lack of rain is causing chronic power shortages as the country relies heavily on hydroelectric power.
The North Korean leader was also angry because the farm’s workers "did not breed freshwater lobsters adequately" and accused them of a “manifestation of incompetence, outmoded way of thinking and irresponsible work style,” the Independent reported.
According to South Korean sources, the manager of the farm was shot immediately after Kim's visit.
Professor Remco Breuker, a Korean studies expert, told The Independent that it may seem bizarre and extreme but these kind of things really do happen in North Korea.
"It's obviously very extreme and sounds unthinkable, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen," he said.
The paper also quoted a North Korean source as saying the execution was ordered to “set an example.”
The autocratic regime in North Korea has accused many people in of espionage, corruption, bribery, spying or treason.
Since he came to power following his father Kim Jong-il’s death in 2011, Kim Jong-un has reportedly used brutal methods to eliminate potential opponents in the regime as well those within his inner circle who have objected to his policies.
In 2013, Kim ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in North Korea, after he was accused of corruption and committing crimes damaging to the economy.