North Korea Executed Kim Jong Un’s Uncle

Abby Ohlheiser, The Wire
See more stories about...
Abby Ohlheiser, The Wire
Dec. 13, 2013, 4:02 a.m.

North Korea said on Thursday that its gov­ern­ment had ex­ecuted Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of lead­er Kim Jong Un.

Un­til re­cently, Jang was widely re­garded as the second most power­ful man in the coun­try. The state-run KCNA news agency called Jang a “trait­or,” claim­ing that he “brought to­geth­er un­desir­able forces” in the coun­try to form an op­pos­i­tion fac­tion. His re­mov­al from power, and ul­ti­mate ex­e­cu­tion, is likely part of Kim’s broad­er strategy to con­sol­id­ate power.

Weeks ago, im­ages and men­tions of Jang began to dis­ap­pear from North Korea’s state-pro­duced me­dia, in­dic­at­ing that some sort of pur­ging was afoot. This week, it be­came clear that his re­mov­al from power was something more than a mo­ment­ary fall­ing out between the two when the state-run me­dia ac­cused Jang of fo­ment­ing dis­sent, wo­man­iz­ing, gambling, and us­ing drugs. On Sunday, the coun­try’s state-run news agency broad­cast im­ages of Jang be­ing for­cibly re­moved from an emer­gency meet­ing of the coun­try’s rul­ing party. Jang was purged once be­fore, in 2004, un­der Kim Jong Il’s rule.

The KCNA re­port on Jang’s ex­e­cu­tion goes even fur­ther to de­mon­ize the char­ac­ter of Kim’s former ment­or, call­ing him “Despic­able hu­man scum” and “worse than a dog”:

“From long ago, Jang had a dirty polit­ic­al am­bi­tion. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were alive. But, read­ing their faces, Jang had an axe to grind and in­volved him­self in double-deal­ing. He began re­veal­ing his true col­ors, think­ing that it was just the time for him to real­ize his wild am­bi­tion in the peri­od of his­tor­ic turn when the gen­er­a­tion of the re­volu­tion was re­placed.”

“Jang com­mit­ted such an un­par­don­able thrice-cursed treas­on as overtly and cov­ertly stand­ing in the way of set­tling the is­sue of suc­ces­sion to the lead­er­ship,” KCNA con­tin­ued. Re­portedly, North Korea also ex­ecuted some of Jang’s as­so­ci­ates.

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from The Wire. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

What We're Following See More »
‘INEXCUSABLE REMARKS’
DNC Formally Apologizes to Bernie Sanders
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."

Source:
STILL A ‘SAFE SEAT’
DCCC Won’t Aid Wasserman Schultz
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

The chairman of the DCCC said Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't be getting financial help from the organization this year, even as she faces a well-funded primary challenger. "Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said the committee’s resources will be spent helping Democrats in tough races rather than those in seats that are strongholds for the party." Executive Director Kelly Ward added, “We never spend money in safe seats."

Source:
STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE TO FILL IN
Wasserman Schultz Won’t Gavel Open the Convention
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.

Source:
SUPPORTERS’ RALLY
Sanders Supporters Boo When He Mentions Clinton-Kaine
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Source:
ALL EYES ON RUSSIANS
FBI Investigating DNC Hack
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."

Source:
×