The United States is consulting Asian allies about reports that the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was executed, a White House official said.
North Korea said on Friday that Jang Song-Thaek, Kim’s uncle and previously considered the second most powerful man in the secretive state, has been executed after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason.
North Korea has executed the uncle of its leader Kim Jong-Un after a shock purge, state news agency KCNA announced early Friday, branding the once-powerful Jang Song-Thaek a “traitor for all ages”.
In a viciously-worded attack, the regime accused Jang of betraying the trust of both Kim Jong-Un and his father Kim Jong-Il, saying he had received “deeper trust” from the younger leader in particular.
Some analysts see the purge as a sign of Kim’s growing confidence, but there has also been fear in South Korea that the removal of such an important part of the North’s government, who was 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.
Jang was married to Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong-hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong-il.