Written by Staff Writer
13 Dec, 2013 | 7:05 am
Footage shown by North Korea’s KCTV and released by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency shows Jang Song Thaek being removed from a Politburo meeting.
The once-powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been executed after being purged for corruption, state news agency KCNA reports.
Chang Song-thaek was dramatically removed from a Communist Party session by armed guards earlier this week.
It was the biggest upheaval since Kim succeeded his father two years ago. KCNA said Chang had admitted at a military trial on Thursday to attempting to overthrow the state, and was executed immediately. Chang, who had mentored his nephew during the leadership transition from Kim Jong-il to his son Kim Jong-un in 2011, was “worse than a dog”, said the agency.
He had admitted abusing his positions of responsibility to form a faction against the state and to harbouring his own political ambitions, it said. Chang – married to the elder Kim’s sister – had held senior posts in the ruling party and the National Defence Commission, the North’s top military body.
He was frequently pictured alongside his nephew and seen by some observers as the power behind the throne.
In the US, the White House said it could not independently verify the reports but had “no reason to doubt” them.
“If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime. We are following developments in North Korea closely and consulting with our allies and partners in the region,” it said in a statement.
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