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  • Jul 12, 2014
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North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year. 


Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek, executed for treason in North Korea

A special military tribunal found the second most powerful man in the secretive state guilty of treason, North Korean state media said

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 December, 2013, 6:27am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 December, 2013, 2:39am

The North’s official KCNA news agency said Jang Song-thaek had been executed after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason, only days after he was stripped of all posts and expelled from the ruling Workers’ Party.

Conservative lawmaker Lee In-je of the ruling Saenuri Party told South Korean media on Thursday that he believed two North Korean vice premiers, Ri Mu-yong and Ro Tu-Chol, have sought refuge in China. 

Other unconfirmed media reports claim one or more of Jang’s aides had defected to South Korea. The South’s spy agency says it has no knowledge of any such defections.

South Korea expressed deep concerns about a series of occurrences in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, uncle-in- law of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said on Friday.

“The government is closely monitoring the series of incidents, which are happening in North Korea (DPRK), with deep concerns,” Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do said in a televised statement.

North Korean politics are virtually impenetrable from outside and the reason could also easily be a falling out between Kim and his uncle, or even with Jang’s wife.

Watch: North Korean ministers denounce Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek

If true, the execution caps a spectacular downfall for a man who had long been a fixture in North Korea’s leadership.

"The accused Jang brought together undesirable forces and formed a faction as the boss of a modern day factional group for a long time and thus committed such hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state," KCNA said.

"The special military tribunal of the Ministry of State Security of the DPRK ... ruled that he would be sentenced to death according to it. The decision was immediately executed," it said, using the North’s title of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper also on Friday carried a photograph of Jang in handcuffs and being held by uniformed guards as he stood trial. It is not known how the sentence was carried out.

Jang was a vice chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission and a member of Workers’ Party politburo.

Married to the sister of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, Jang had been considered the man who could help his nephew establish himself in power but at the same time presented the greatest threat to the young and untested leader.

"This is a man who could have competently executed a coup in North Korea," said Mike Madden, an expert on the North’s power structure and author of the North Korea Leadership Watch website and blog.

"He knows how the body guards work, how the security forces in Pyongyang work, how state security works - this guy had very intimate knowledge about very key nodes of control in North Korea," Madden said.

Earlier this week, North Korea stripped Jang of his power and positions, accusing him of criminal acts including mismanagement of the state financial system, womanising and alcohol abuse.

"From long ago, Jang had a dirty political ambition. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were alive," KCNA said, referring to leader Kim’s grandfather and father, the previous rulers of the dynastic state.

"He began revealing his true colours, thinking that it was just the time for him to realise his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced," it said.

Regional powers have watched the purge of Jang and his associates - conducted in a rare, publicly prominent manner - for implications to regional security.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House was holding a ministerial meeting to review the developments.

The United States said it was following the developments in North Korea and consulting with allies in the region.

"If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime," said Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua also reported his execution. Jang was known to have had close ties with North Korea's main trading partner.

He accompanied Kim’s father and predecessor Kim Jong-il on three trips to China in 2010 and 2011 and is known to have led the country’s Commission for Joint Venture and Investment tasked with attracting foreign investments – mostly from China.

Last year, then Chinese President Hu Jintao praised Jang expressed his appreciation for Jang's contributions to "the development of good neighbourly relations between China and North Korea".

Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry described Jang's downfall as “an internal affair" in a statement last week. 

North Korea is expected to hold the central mourning meeting on Monday to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, the South Korean newspaper Joongang Daily reports. Kim Jong-un is expected to pay his respects at is father's and grandfather's mausoleum, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, it said. 

Meanwhile, in a move seen as reinforcing Kim Jong-un's hold on power, North Korea released an upbeat music video called "We Will Only Know You" on Friday.

WATCH: Post-execution, country sings new tune for Kim Jong-un

Read the full text of North Korea's annoucement of his execution


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This article is now closed to comments

Live by the sword, die by the sword. A telling commentary on "dictators" and their cronies/lackeys.
How would one want to do business or travel to such a totalitarian state. They do anything they like without warning and trial. Despite his boyish looks the young Kim is evil at heart and lusts for infinite power. More than a decade ago I recall that Bill Clinton(USA president then) said that N. Korea's antics would spell the demise of the country. It seems even worse under young Kim's rule who is a person who wont tolerate any opposing opinions. Beijing needs to keep a close eye on its former ally.
China nurtured these thugs in North Korea for her own selfish ends. Now, perhaps, they can no longer be controlled completely by Beijing.
Feel sad for all people in North Korea living in such a totalitarian country under the rule of a dictator in the modern age. Being guilty of treason is a very severe offence in any country. But I think Jiang at least should should a chance to defend for himself. Prove one's guilt by evidence and judge it by law. This prompt execution cannot stop me thinking to eliminate someone being dislike only. Thanks god that article 23 was not legalised in 2003.
North Korea - China's Best Friend.
Have a word with yourself mate and make some sense.
the sun also rises
it is said that the sudden arrest and prompt execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek was due to the latter's affairs with N.Korea's first lady, Kim's wife who was said to be involved with Jong in pronographic films. They two had immoral acts.Now Leader Kim is looking for another first lady after Jong was said to be executed by machine-gunned as two of his two close aides did.It was earlier rumoured that he and his close aides were stripped naked and thrown into an enclosure to be btiten to bones only by up to 120 starving ( 3 days without food) hunting dogs from North-east China.It is called executed by dogs ! How cruel and inhumane those communist states are ! No doubt the European Conference has just condemned the PRC for plucking the organs of Falun Gong members ----an accusation denied by the Chinese Communist ruling regime !
Next un's second brother than his older brother & his nephews


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