North Korea executes uncle of leader Kim Jong Un: report

Dec 12, 2013 4:06 PM

By Hasani Gittens, NBC News

Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's previously powerful uncle has been executed as a traitor, the country's state-run news service said Thursday.

According to KCNA, the uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was guilty of "attempting to overthrow the state."

On Monday, the isolated regime announced that Jang had been dismissed from his vaunted official post for a string of criminal acts, including corruption, womanizing and drug-taking.

"All the crimes committed by the accused were proved in the course of hearing and were admitted by him," KCNA stated on Thursday — in a report that claimed that "people throughout the country broke in to angry shouts" when they heard of Jang's alleged crimes.

South Korea's spy agency last week said it believed Jang, long regarded as the second most powerful man in the secretive state, had been relieved of his posts in November.

The moves indicate Pyongyang is undergoing its biggest leadership upheaval since the death in 2011 of former leader Kim Jong Il, the younger Kim's father.


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