North Korea puts leader’s un­cle to death

Long con­sid­ered the No. 2, Jang Song Thaek ex­e­cuted for at­tempt­ing a coup

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page -

North Korea on Fri­day an­nounced the ex­e­cu­tion of Kim Jong-un’s un­cle, calling the leader’s for­mer men­tor a traitor who tried to over­throw the state.

The an­nounce­ment came only days af­ter Py­ongyang an­nounced through state me­dia that Jang Song Thaek — long con­sid­ered the coun­try’s No. 2 power — had been re­moved from all his posts be­cause of al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion, drug use, gam­bling, wom­an­iz­ing and lead­ing a “dis­so­lute and de­praved life.”

The state news agency KCNA said a tri­bunal ex­am­ined Jang’s crimes, in­clud­ing “at­tempt­ing to over­throw the state by all sorts of in­trigues and de­spi­ca­ble meth­ods with a wild am­bi­tion to grab the supreme power of our party and state.”

Jang was seen as help­ing Kim Jong-un con­sol­i­date power af­ter the death of his fa­ther, Kim Jong-il, two years ago. Jang was the lat­est and most sig­nif­i­cant in a series of per­son­nel reshuf­fles that Kim has con­ducted in an ap­par­ent ef­fort to bol­ster his power.

There has been fear in Seoul that the re­moval of such an im­por­tant part of the North’s govern­ment — seen by out­siders as the lead­ing sup­porter of Chi­nese-style eco­nomic re­forms — could cre­ate dan­ger­ous in­sta­bil­ity or lead to a mis­cal­cu­la­tion or at­tack on the South.

AHN YOUNG-JOON/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Peo­ple watch a TV news pro­gram at Seoul rail­way sta­tion, South Korea on Mon­day show­ing Jang Song Thaek, cen­tre, be­ing grabbed at a meet­ing of Work­ers Party’s Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in Py­ongyang the day be­fore. North Korea an­nounced Mon­day it had sacked Jang, who was long con­sid­ered the coun­try’s No. 2 power.

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