Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Korea executes leader's uncle as a traitor

Jang Song Thaek was with Kim Jong Un at a parade in September for the 65th anniversary of the country’s founding in Pyongyang.

Associated Press

Jang Song Thaek was with Kim Jong Un at a parade in September for the 65th anniversary of the country’s founding in Pyongyang.

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea said today that Jang Song Thaek, uncle and presumed mentor of leader Kim Jong Un, was executed for plotting a military coup.

The announcement was a highly unusual admission of instability from the reclusive, nuclear-armed country, which normally cloaks any signs of disloyalty to the Kim dynasty that has ruled since the country's founding. It was the first time in recent decades that the North revealed a purported attempt to overthrow its leadership, analysts said, and the first announced execution of a member of the ruling family.

Calling him a "traitor" and "worse than a dog," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Jang, 67, was executed Thursday, immediately after he was convicted of treason in a special military court.

North Korea released a photo of Jang standing at the military court, with his hands bound. Two State Security agents held his arms while one of them pressed the back of Jang's neck so he would bow before the tribunal. The report from the state news agency did not say how Jang was executed. The North usually executes criminals by a firing squad.

Even before the reported execution, Jang's recent downfall had raised worries in the United States and South Korea that Kim might lash out, possibly staging another nuclear test or instigating a military provocation against the South.

South Korean officials said Kim was resorting to "a reign of terror" to consolidate his power.

Jang was the husband of Kim Kyong Hui, a sister of Kim Jong Il, the late North Korean leader and Kim Jong Un's father. The wife's fate was unknown.

North Korea executes leader's uncle as a traitor 12/12/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.