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.