North Korea: Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Chang Hanged

An image of Mr Chang in court, his hands bound, was released on Friday
An image of Mr Chang in court, his hands bound, was released on Friday

The once-powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been executed after being purged for “acts of treachery”, state media say.

Chang Song-thaek was dramatically removed from a special party session by armed guards earlier this week.

It was the biggest upheaval since Mr Kim succeeded his father two years ago.

State news agency KCNA said Mr Chang had admitted at a military trial on Thursday to attempting to overthrow the state, and was executed immediately.

Mr Chang, who is thought to have 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.

N. Korea Leader Kim Jong Un is seeking to stamp his authority. on the impoverished nation
N. Korea Leader Kim Jong Un is seeking to stamp his authority. on the impoverished nation

He had admitted abusing his positions of responsibility to form a faction against the state and to harbouring his own political ambitions, it said in a lengthy and detailed report.

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.

Mr 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.

State media announced the execution of Chang Song-thaek.
State media announced the execution of Chang Song-thaek.

But in early December, it emerged that he had been removed from his senior military position and that two of his aides had been executed.

Then on Monday, KCNA broadcast footage of him being removed from a party session by uniformed guards.

In a long report on Friday, KCNA described Mr Chang as a “traitor” and “human scum”.

It said: “Chang dreamed such a foolish dream that once he seizes power by a base method, his despicable true colours as ‘reformist’ known to the outside world would help his ‘new government’ get ‘recognised’ by foreign countries in a short span of time.”

BBC

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