|In an image released by South Korea's Yonhap news agency|
on December 9, 2013, Jang Song-Thaek is reportedly being
dragged away from his chair by two police officials
during a meeting in Pyongyang.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea announced early Friday it had executed the uncle and one-time mentor of its top leader Kim Jong-un, calling him a traitor.
The announcement, reported by the official Korean Central News Agency, said the uncle, Jang Song-thaek, was put to death on Thursday after a special military trial.
The execution came less than a week after Mr. Jang, who was more than twice Mr. Kim’s age, was dismissed from the ruling party and arrested in a surprise purge that unnerved neighbors of North Korea, one of the world’s most hermetic and secretive countries.
Source: The New York Times, December 12, 2013
Uncertainty after North Korea announces execution of leader's uncle
(CNN) -- As the shock sinks in of North Korea's extraordinary announcement of the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle and former protector, government officials and analysts are trying to decipher what the brutal move means.
The ruthless disposal of Jang Song Thaek -- Kim's uncle by marriage who had, until recently, been regarded as the second-most powerful figure in the secretive, nuclear-armed nation -- has serious implications for North Korea, its neighbors and the United States, observers said.
But exactly what is going on inside the notoriously opaque North Korea regime remains as murky as ever.
"We don't have a clear sense of this at all," said Victor Cha, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who represented the United States in nuclear talks with North Korea.
Some saw the execution, reported early Friday by North Korean state media, as a chilling demonstration of total control by Kim, the young leader who came to power two years ago.
"I think what he's telling people -- the United States, South Korea, China, others -- is that he is his own man, that you are going to have to deal with him," said Philip Yun, executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, a nuclear nonproliferation group.
Source: CNN, December 13, 2013