North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly exiled about 10 government officials, banishing them from the capital city of Pyongyang, after they bragged about ties to the leader's family. The officials were forced to outer regions after they disclosed they were close with Kim Yo Jong, the leader's younger sister, during their time at Kim Il Sung University, the South Korean outlet Daily NK reported.
“A number of officials working at major state agencies in Pyongyang were reported to the central party for having frequently mentioned they were graduates from the same class as Kim Yo Jong,” a source reportedly told Daily NK. “In the North, you’re not allowed to talk freely about the ‘highest dignity,’ and that includes his sister. They were trying to brag, so they were expelled.” Daily NK reported that another source in the area corroborated the story.
— IBTimes UK (@IBTimesUK) November 27, 2014
The forced exiles took place in May at about the same time Kim executed the manager of a turtle farm who had reportedly improperly cared for the creatures. After a prolonged absence, Kim Yo Jong, 27, reappeared in public in late May while touring the construction of a tree nursery. She soon took over as head of the propaganda department for North Korea after a government shakeup. The position calls for her to assist in "consolidating" Kim Jong Un's power and building his cult of personality, the Guardian reported. Kim Yo Jong was featured prominently in state-released video of the country's July elections -- which, according to state-run media, boasted 99.97 percent voter turnout and joyful voters singing and dancing.
Kim has tightened his grip over North Korea in recent years, executing nearly 70 officials since he took power in 2011. Most recently, South Korean news outlet Yonhap reported that he ordered the execution of Vice Premier Choe Yong-gon. Kim also has purged the country of a number of military officials, reportedly so he is viewed as the only legitimate leader of the country.