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Jang Song Thaek: He Dead

Holy crap, that was fast:

North Korea said on Friday that Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of its leader Kim Jong-un and considered his mentor, was executed for trying to mobilize the military to stage a coup.

Mr. Jang, 67, was executed on Thursday, immediately after he was convicted in a special military court on charges of violating the North’s criminal code, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“He lost his mind due to his greed for power,” the news agency reported. “He persistently plotted to spread his evil design into the military, believing that he could overthrow the leadership if he could mobilize the military.”

It takes a hard, hard man to execute your uncle. Or a psychopath.

And to make you feel even better this morning, the NYT warns, “[T]he purge had raised worries in the United States and South Korea that Mr. Kim might now lash out at those he considers enemies, possibly staging another nuclear test or instigating a conflict with the South at sea.”

UPDATE: Read Andrei Lankov’s commentary on Jang’s purge here. Here’s something to get you started:

The very recent downfall of Jang Song Thaek – Kim Jong Un’s uncle – is an important event. It can be described as both unexpected but also anticipated. On the one hand, Jang’s displacement has been expected within certain circles for sometime now. On the other hand, the dramatic form this purge took is completely unexpected.

photo credit: bryanh via photopin cc

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  • SeoulGoodman

    Rumours had it that he was executed a week ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the truth. Either way, I don’t think this necessarily means that Kim Jong Un has consolidated his power. It could also mean that he’s become the military’s puppet, either through a coup or out of necessity.

  • seouldout

    Great screen name.

  • seouldout

    Great screen name

  • RElgin

    Jang death was not unanticipated since there was always a question of control and power that was unresolved. “When” and “how” was the only unknown.

  • George_Smiley

    In politics, ambition is a good thing…but it’s important not to lose your head.

  • Guest

    I think this needs some discussion. Why does this keep on happening here?

    School, officials tried to cover up sexual misconduct


  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Irrelevant to this thread, though interesting and very sad nonetheless. Why does it keep happening? Same reason it happens in the Catholic Church: Authorities are more concerned with saving face than with the well-being of the victims. That, and nobody ever does hard time for the crime.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Then please post it in the Open Thread, not here.

  • JiMong

    Surprise? Not really

  • aligner

    North Korea has a nice culture …

  • Juniper

    If only it were foreigners molesting all the school kids we actually see something done about it.

  • George_Smiley

    Here, I’d go with “less nice”.

  • aligner

    You were still able to use the word nice in a sentence describing North Korea – bravo on you!

  • George_Smiley


  • flyingsword

    Think he lost his mind due to the bullet passing thru his head….

  • Fred Small

    Some Asian press saying that JST was not killed by a firing squad, but stripped naked and fed to 120 very hungry dogs in front of 300 top cadres and his dear nephew and niece-in-law. I hate when that happens.