North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly had a big shot in the Pyeongyang money change market executed late last month, blaming him for a sudden exchange rate fluctuation.
South Korea's National Intelligence Service reported Friday that Kim also had an official executed in August for bringing banned goods into the regime despite the stronger controls at the border because of the pandemic.
The NIS said Kim is behaving irrationally because of the regime's economic difficulties, including COVID-19 lockdowns and a rise in commodity prices.
The regime is also being extra careful in relation to the ongoing power transition in the U.S.
The North has reportedly told its ambassadors to "exercise utmost prudence in language," and has warned them not to antagonize Washington, which experts say is related to the different ways Kim sees Trump and Biden.
"Kim Jong-un is in a dilemma where Trump treats him as a great friend and Biden thinks of him as a bully. Also, he also gave these orders because he cares about and is exploring how China and Russia think of the regime."
The NIS also reported that the North plans to hold yet another military parade during its Workers' Party convention slated for early next year.
The agency said the regime wants to show off its weapons capabilities to the incoming Biden administration.
In the meantime, there have been active movements of people and vehicles at the two Koreas' now-closed industrial complex in the North's border town of Gaeseong.
Voice of America reported on Friday that satellite images from late October showed people and objects in at least 12 places near the electrical, electronics and textile production zones.
U.S. experts said the objects on the ground could be grain, though Seoul's Unification Ministry said on Friday that none of the apparent movements have been confirmed.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.