North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not taken kindly to officials watching South Korean soaps and has ordered their execution.Reuters

Ten officials of North Korea's Workers Party have been shot dead for charges ranging from graft to watching South Korean soap operas.

According to Lim Dae Sung, an aide to ruling South Korean Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo, the latest deaths are part of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's round of purges to erase his dead uncle's influence.

It was in December that Kim had his uncle Jang Song Thaek killed over charges of factionalism, graft and sexual misconduct, reports Bloomberg.

Kim recently put in an appearance after many weeks following surgery to remove a cyst, amidst speculations on his long absence.

The leader has consolidated his power through purges, including the removal, two years ago, of Vice Marshall Staff Ri Yong Ho who guided him in the succession process.

Kim exercises control over North Korea's 1.2 million troops and a nuclear arms programme, after taking over the 24-million-strong nation from his father Kim Jong-il who died in 2011.

He has recently replaced many army commanders and demoted some for poor performance of artillery.

Kim, who is a fan of western cartoon shows and characters like Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Minnie Mouse, has not taken kindly to a Western action-comedy movie that depicts an attempt to assassinate him. He has pledged to "mercilessly destroy" anyone associated with the movie.

Meanwhile, a thawing of relations between North and South Koreas was offset by anti-Kim leaflets sent over the border, to which South Korea responded by saying it has no control over public opinion.

Kim had recently threatened to strengthen the country's nuclear programme following the memoirs of a former CIA director which takes a strong line against Pyongyang.