The uncle of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has been dragged from a military court and executed for being a ‘traitor’.
Jang Song Thaek, 67, who had been considered the second most powerful official in the country and a mentor to his nephew, was killed immediately after a trial.
It is believed he was executed in the customary North Korean way by firing squad.
In a statement Pyongyang called him a ‘traitor to the nation for all ages,’ ‘worse than a dog’ and ‘despicable human scum’ who planned a military coup.
In a sharp reversal of the popular image of Jang Song Thaek as a kindly uncle guiding young leader Kim Jong Un as he consolidated power, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency indicated that Jang instead saw the death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011 as an opportunity to challenge his nephew and win power.
Just days ago, North Korea accused Jang of corruption, womanizing, gambling and taking drugs, and said he’d been ‘eliminated’ from all his posts.
But Friday’s allegations, which couldn’t be independently confirmed, were linked to a claim that he tried ‘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.