After executing his once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek, for allegedly attempting to overthrow his regime and only half-heartedly clapping when he became vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, Kim Jong Un ordered all of Jang’s direct relatives to be executed.
Well, not all of his relatives…. I think his nephew Kim Jong Un was spared.
Jang Song-thaek, North Korea’s #2 in command, was executed last month as tensions between him and his nephew Kim Jong Un grew. Adding insult to injury/execution, Kim Jong Un referred to Jang as “worse than a dog” and “human scum” in the official announcement of his death – which was officially attributed to treachery, betrayal, and of course half-hearted clapping. Doesn’t everybody know THIS is how you’re supposed to clap??!
But apparently the execution of Jang Song-thaek wasn’t enough, so the North Korean dictator had all of his direct relatives murdered, including children and ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia.
According to South Korea’s state news agency, Yonhap, the executed relatives included Jang’s sister Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin, the ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol, who is Jang’s nephew, as well as his two sons. Plus a bunch of underage children and grandchildren of the relatives listed above.
“Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek,” an anonymous source (Kim Jong Un?) told Yonhap. “All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children.”
According to “multiple sources”, some victims were dragged out of their houses and were shot dead “in front of other people”. Others, who were only related to Jang through marriage, got off easy and were only exiled to remote villages.
Yonhap’s report has not yet been 100% confirmed and they may have a slight anti-North Korean bias so this story may end up being a sequel to the untrue rumour that Kim Jong Un executed his uncle by feeding his to starving dogs.
BUT there are several clues that suggest this might be true:
First, Yonhap did get the first scoop on Jang Song-thaek’s execution before it was announced by the North Korea media.
Second, the ambassadors reported to be dead were spotted en-route to North Korea after being called back from their overseas postings shortly after Jang was purged from the party.
Third, North Korea is pretty big into the whole “guilt-by-association” thing.
Fourth, crazier things have happened in North Korea. Such as Dennis Rodman singing a tone-deaf version of Happy Birthday to Kim Jong Un Marilyn Monroe style… so you never know.
Via: Al Jazeera