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Uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed

Uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed

Seoul: The once influential uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been executed, the state news agency of North Korea reported on Friday, calling him a “traitor.”

Jang Song Thaek, 67, was convicted on Thursday in a military trial that found him guilty of trying to overthrow the government and of “counter-revolutionary” and anti-Communist Party actions.

Shortly thereafter, he was executed, according to Pyongyang’s official news agency, KCNA, as cited by the South Korean agency Yonhap.

Jang was vice-chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission and widely seen as the second-most influential figure in the nation.

He was the husband of Mr. Kim’s aunt Kim Kyong Hui.

“The accused Jang brought together undesirable forces and formed a faction as the boss of a modern day factional group for a long time,” KCNA reported.

North Korea on Monday confirmed that Jang had been removed from power. Last week, South Korean intelligence officials said they believed Jang had been removed from power, but had not been able to confirm the report.

The move was seen as Mr. Kim’s most assertive move to consolidate power since the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.

The White House late on Thursday said it had “no reason to doubt” the KCNA report that Jang had been executed.

“If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime,” said Patrick Ventrell of the National Security Council.

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