- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

North Korea’s number two — the leader who stands right behind Kim Jong-un in terms of power — hasn’t been seen in a while, and South Korean authorities are saying that’s because he’s fallen victim to the latest government purge.

South Korean news outlets say Choe Ryong Hae has been sent to jail for interrogation, the Daily Mail reported. The Unification ministry, the South Korea-based body tasked with overseeing relations between the two countries, said it is “looking into” the accusations.

Mr. Choi has maintained several top positions in North Korea since Mr. Kim ordered the execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, 67, for plotting to overthrow the regime. But talk is that Mr. Choi has fallen out of favor with Mr. Kim for taking over the management of several companies that are owned by the state.

Mr. Choi was noticeably absent from several recent public events that he normally would have attended with Mr. Kim, the Daily Mail reported.