North Korea executes Jang Song-Thaek, uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un

13th Dec 2013

North Korea has executed Jang Song-Thaek, uncle of the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un. The announcement comes just days after Pyongyang confirmed Jang was dismissed from his office for “criminal acts.” 

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported early on Friday that Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, had been executed on Thursday shortly after a special military trial. He was once considered the country’s second-most powerful official behind his nephew Kim.

Calling Jang “worse than a dog”, the North accused him of attempting to stand in the way of Kim’s succession, according to KCNA.

On Monday, Pyongyang  had confirmed that Jang had been dismissed from office after reports from South Korea’s intelligence agency that he had been ousted late in November.

KCNA reported that “Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution.” Jang was accused of corruption, womanizing, drug-use and generally leading a “dissolute and depraved life.”

Jang, who was married to the daughter of North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung, was seen as helping Kim Jong-Un consolidate power following the December 2011 death of his father, Kim Jong-Il.

The execution marks the most significant political upheaval in North Korea’s top leadership since Kim Jong-Un took power.

hc/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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