SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's foreign minister says North Korea has staged 70 executions since current leader Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011.
Yun Byung-se also said Thursday at a forum in Seoul that Kim's "reign of terror" is inspiring North Koreans working overseas to defect to the South. He didn't elaborate or reveal how he got the details, and South Korean intelligence officials didn't immediately return calls seeking comment. Information about authoritarian North Korea is often impossible to confirm.
Kim has removed key members of the old guard through a series of purges since taking over after the death of his father Kim Jong Il.
Experts say Kim could be using fear to solidify his leadership, but those efforts could fail if he doesn't improve the country's shattered economy.