North Korea's Kim Executes His Uncle

Jang Song Thaek accused of being a traitor

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 12, 2013 3:52 PM CST

(Newser) – Less than a week after reports emerged that Kim Jong Un had staged a major power play by ousting his powerful uncle from government, North Korea has announced that the uncle has been executed, reports the BBC. The state news agency says Jang Song Thaek was sentenced to death by a military tribunal as a traitor, and the sentence was carried out immediately. Jang—who had been forcibly removed from a Community Party forum in front of cameras earlier in the week—had been married to the sister of Kim's father.

The state news agency accused him of plotting to overthrow his nephew and labeled him "worse than a dog," reports AP. He had generally been considered the nation's second most powerful figure and once served as a mentor to his nephew. Other charges against him included corruption, drug use, gambling, and leading a "depraved life." Analysts generally view the move as Kim consolidating his power.

In this Feb. 16, 2012, photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek, left, after reviewing a parade.
In this Feb. 16, 2012, photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek, left, after reviewing a parade.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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