By RYAN GORMAN
North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un reportedly had 10 senior government officials executed –- for watching South Korean soap operas.
The dictator's return to the public eye was met with more than a few raised eyebrows after he disappeared for more than a month, and now he appears to be tightening his literal death grip over the hermit country.
All 10 were killed by firing squad, sources told Bloomberg. They were accused of blasphemous crimes like illegally watching the soap operas, graft and other various charges.
Bloomberg sources speculated they were likely purged for having close ties to an uncle of Kim's that was infamously executed late last year.
Reports he was fed to dogs were widely circulated but soon debunked.
Kim took over the reclusive regime shortly after father Kim Jong-Il died in 2011, and has systematically eliminated any possible opposition since.
Kim Jong Un is trying to establish absolute power and strengthen his regime with public punishments," Yang Moo Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told Bloomberg. "However, frequent purges can create side effects."
One of those side effects was reported earlier this year to have been a possible military coup removing Kim from power.
Rumors continued to swirl in the weeks after his re-emergence, but a South Korean media report this week said the despot disappeared while recovering from ankle surgery – a plausible explanation since the 30-year-old has been seen walking with a cane in recent weeks.
Recent reports have also suggested an expansion of prison camps and executions in the North.
It was widely hoped when Kim first took the reigns from his iron-fisted father that he would make the country more open and possibly even reconcile with the South.
His actions since have proven those hopes to be a pipe dream.
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