Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in PyongyangReuters

A North Korean official has been executed with a flamethrower in the latest high-profile death in Kim Jong-un's crackdown on those loyal to his late uncle Jang Song-thaek.

A report by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper quotes an unnamed source revealing that O Sang-hon, a deputy minister at the Ministry of Public Security was "executed by flamethrower".

Sang-hon was sentenced to death because he carried out Jang's instructions to convert the Public Security Ministry into a personal security division in order to benefit his business matters.

Whether the source's account of the flamethrower death is true or not cannot be independently verified, but the potential for anti-North Korean propaganda to be published by South Korea publications is high.

Kim's uncle Jang, once North Korea's unofficial number two and Kim's political mentor, was sentenced to death on December 12, accused of plotting against the regime.

A total of 11 high-ranking officials have been purged for their relation to Jang and his old department within the Workers Party has been shut down, according to the South Korean report.

The executed officials included Jang's sister Kye-sun, her husband Jon Yong-jin and son-in-law Kim Yong-ho, who were found guilty by association. Also purged were Jang's associates Ri Yong-ha and Jang Su-gil.

Jang's nephew and North Korean ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-choi was not executed but sent to a prison camp.

The purge by Kim's regime has targeted those linked to Jang in three stages, the first has focused on Jang's family, the second on officials closely linked to him and the third will focus on his provincial supporters.