Updated: 5:08 p.m.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle has been executed as a traitor, the state-run media, Korean Central News Agency, reports.
Jang Song Thaek was described in state media reports as an “anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional element and despicable political careerist and trickster,” according the Korean Central News Agency. The media report alleges that he was trying to steal power from his nephew, who trusted him and appointed him to high government positions.
“Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him,” the report says.
The media also accuses Jang of resenting Kim Jong Un’s popularity. As a crowd cheered the young leader, “he behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping, touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people,” the report said.
Jang Song Thaek was ousted as chairman of the National Defense Commission earlier this month, after playing an important role in the early part of Kim Jong Un’s regime. Many considered him something of a puppet master to Kim Jong Il’s young heir, and Jang even made a high-profile trip to China earlier this year without Kim Jong Un. Some experts speculated that purging Jang reflected Kim Jong Un’s rising confidence as a ruler.