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North Korea executed Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle

Seoul (AFP): North Korea has executed the uncle of its leader Kim Jong-Un after a shock purge, state news agency KCNA announced early today, branding the once-powerful Jang Song-Thaek a “traitor for all ages”.

Jang was executed yesterday shortly after a special military trial, KCNA reported, after committing such a “hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state”.

In a viciously-worded attack, the regime accused Jang of betraying the trust of both Kim Jong-Un and his father Kim Jong-Il, saying he had received “deeper trust” from the younger leader in particular.

Branding Jang “despicable human scum… worse than a dog”, the regime accused him of attempting to stand in the way of Kim Jong-Un’s succession, according to KCNA.

Jang, who was married to the sister of the late Kim Jong-Il, played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim.

But analysts say the 67-year-old’s power and influence had become increasingly resented by his nephew, who is aged around 30.

Jang — seen as Kim’s political regent and the country’s unofficial number two — had earlier been stripped of all posts and titles, with the regime accusing him of corruption and building a rival power base.

State TV this week showed photos of Jang being dragged out of his seat at a meeting by two officers, in an extremely rare public humiliation of a figure who was then demonised as a drug-taking womaniser.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Tuesday accused Kim Jong-Un of resorting to extreme violence to cement his leadership.

“North Korea is now engaged in a reign of terror while carrying out a massive purge to consolidate the power of Kim Jong-Un,” she told a cabinet meeting, according to her office.
The Kim family has ruled the North for six decades with an iron fist, regularly purging those showing the slightest sign of dissent. Most are executed or sent to prison camps.

Analysts warn Jang’s ouster — the biggest political upheaval since Jong-Un took power — may cause significant instability even in the world’s most tightly controlled nation.

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