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Rediff.com  » News » N Korea executes Kim's uncle; calls him 'worse than a dog'

N Korea executes Kim's uncle; calls him 'worse than a dog'

December 13, 2013 16:18 IST

N Korea executes Kim's uncle; calls him 'worse than a dog'

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In any oppressive regime, if you challenge the supreme leader, you stop existing -- literally. This happens even if you are Jang Song Thaek, the second-most powerful person in secretive North Korea, and related to the dear leader.

He was married to Kim Kyong-hui, aunt of Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea.

North Korea’s official KCNA confirmed that Jang had been executed after a military tribunal found him guilty of treason and for ‘dreaming different dreams’. According to KCNA, “Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution.”

As the images show, Jang was dragged from a meeting by the police in Pyongyang as other members looked on. He was executed just days ahead of the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un.

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Image: Jang (circled) being dragged from a meeting by the police in Pyongyang as other members look on.
Photographs: Korea Central TV

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The footage of him being dragged by the police was aired on nation TV, in a humiliating public dismissal. The execution caps a spectacular downfall for a man who had long been a fixture in North Korea’s leadership.

"The accused Jang brought together undesirable forces and formed a faction as the boss of a modern day factional group for a long time and thus committed such hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state," the KCNA report said.

It doesn’t help that Jang had been Kim Jong Un’s former mentor and was considered the country’s No. 2.

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Image: A woman walks past a television showing a report on Jang Song Thaek at a railway station in Seoul
Photographs: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

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N Korea executes Kim's uncle; calls him 'worse than a dog'

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The news of his execution was also aired on the radio. The issuing statement called him “a traitor to the nation for all ages”, “despicable human scum” and “worse than a dog.”

Jang had been considered to be someone who could help his nephew establish himself in power but at the same time presented the greatest threat to the young and untested leader.

He had accompanied Kim’s father and predecessor Kim Jong-il on three trips to China in 2010 and 2011 and is known to have led the country’s commission for joint venture and investment tasked with attracting foreign investments -- mostly from China.

Last year, former Chinese President Hu Jintao had expressed his appreciation for Jang's contributions to "the development of good neighbourly relations between China and North Korea".

His removal by many is being seen as a part of Kim Jong-un’s plans of surrounding himself with a younger faction.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un salutes to the members of the honour guards as he and Jang attend a commemoration event at the Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People's Army in Pyongyang in this photograph taken on July 25, 2013.


Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un salutes to the members of the honour guards as he and Jang attend a commemoration event at the Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People's Army in Pyongyang in this photograph taken on July 25, 2013.
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters

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