A Dog of a Story: Why Kim Jong Un Probably Did Not Feed His Uncle to 120 Hounds

A report in a Hong Kong-based newspaper claims Kim Jong Un had his uncle torn to bits by a pack of ravenous dogs

  • Share
  • Read Later
KCNA / Reuters

North Korean soldiers with military dogs take part in drills in an unknown location, on April 6, 2013.

Kim Jong Un’s late uncle was “worse than a dog,” according to the blustery state media account of his purge. But was he killed by a pack of half-starved dogs?

That’s the claim of Beijing-linked Hong Kong newspaper, Wen Wei Po, which on Dec. 12 reported that the instead of being executed by a firing squad, as is typical, Jang was stripped naked, thrown in a cage with five of his associates, and devoured by 120 hounds as Kim Jong Un and 300 officials watched. The dogs preyed on the prisoners “until they were completely eaten up,” according to the Straits Times, a Singaporean newspaper, who picked up the story on Dec. 24.

(MORE:  Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Was ‘Despicable Human Scum,’ Says Pyongyang’s Propaganda Machine)

The version of events jibes well with media accounts that portray Kim Jong Un as a Dr. Evil-esque figure, a clownish, brutal young despot that finds amusement in wielding his terrible power. It also seems to fit the blustery language of North Korean state media which so memorably denounced Jang as a “despicable political careerist and trickster” guilty of “thrice-cursed acts of treachery.”

It feels possible that such an over-the-top crime would warrant an over-the-top punishment. But there is reason to be skeptical.

(MORE: Rodman’s North Korea Visit Won’t Hide Kim Jong Un’s Insecurities)

First, there is the reporting itself. North Korea’s stubborn isolation makes it nearly impossible for reporters to independently verify this type of claim. Very few foreign reporters have access to the country and those who do, like the Associated Press, are kept on a tight leash. It is striking that Wen Wei Po was the only Chinese media outlet with the story. China’s powers of information control are not perfect, but the arms of its propaganda machine tend to wave in synch.

Plus, the account does not fit with other reporting on Jang’s ouster.  Around the same time the Straits Times ran with the Wen Wei Po piece, the New York Times, citing South Korean intelligence, reported that some of Jang’s associates were executed using antiaircraft guns while Jang himself was killed “by more traditional means.”

The method, in the end, may not matter so much. Nobody would argue in favor of death by dog, death by mortar fire, or, really, any other type of execution under Kim family’s grim authoritarian rule. But the focus on palace politics, rumors and intrigue seems to be calling attention away from what we do know is taking place.

Just last month, Amnesty International released new satellite images of a notorious North Korean prison camp that shows new housing blocks. A former guard told the agency of ongoing forced labor, the imprisonment of children, and of people being forced to dig their own graves. If you are still hungry for horror, give it a read.

(MORE: Watch How North Korea Confirmed the Execution of Kim Jong Un’s Uncle)

153 comments
DavidCunningham
DavidCunningham

Why shouldn't Kim kill his hated uncle this way.What's to stop him.

He's the supreme leader after all!

Ocsicnarf
Ocsicnarf

Nobody would argue in favor of death by dog, death by mortar fire, or, really, any other type of execution? Well I'd prefer to be shot than eaten by dogs. Really.

PeteStreet
PeteStreet

This ambiguous statement reveals the bias of the news media worker:  "Nobody would argue in favor of death by dog, death by mortar fire, or, really, any other type of execution under Kim family’s grim authoritarian rule."  Nevertheless, a complete justice system requires the death penalty for the worst crimes.  One could argue whether or not the crimes of Jang merited the death penalty, but not the existence of this form of justice.  The NMW appears to argue the Kim regime should not possess and use the death penalty because of Kim's "grim authoritarian rule."  The type of rule has little if anything to do with the validity of the death penalty and its use to carry out justice.  Further, one could argue the Kim regime shortchanges a rational justice system to decide due punishment by jiggering the justice system for a preferred outcome, the death penalty, as a political statement enforcing Kim's rule.  This possibility raises the ancient question of the power of the state to further its interests as opposed to inherent if any rights of the individual.  This view allows an outsider to weigh the justice of the Kim regime in rational terms.  His regime apparently sets the state and its interests in punishing identified traitors against the regime as a valid course of action, and also the death penalty as a due punishment for this crime of being a traitor.  Whether the evidence against Jang sufficed to identify him as a traitor remains an open question at this point.  Meanwhile, the concept of universal human rights comes into play here, of course, but only if one prefers this mechanical prescription to the philosophical situation of a varying balance between the state and the individual citizen.  Hundreds of years ago, political philosophers began shifting the political rights from the state to the individual, with most of the rights residing in the individual against the state.  The U.S. Constitution expresses this change in political philosophy.  This change, however, requires a democratic form of government in order for this change to effectuate the universal rights of man.  Hence, an authoritarian form of rule (rule by one) in which by definition the state governs primarily in its own interest, and naturally subsumes the rights of man, we cannot expect to conform to the expectations of others who live under a democratic form of rule (rule by many).  Imposing this expectation on another form of rule exposes a contrast between forms of rule, and not much else.


bpai99
bpai99

As conservatives and liberals in the US accuse each other of being like Hitler, Stalin, etc., it's important to keep a sense of perspective. No leader of a democracy can possibly be compared to someone like Kim Jong Un or his father. Let's not let hyperbole about  normal political disagreements reach the level that should be reserved for the condemnation of real monsters.

KerryJones
KerryJones

IF in fact, Kim Jong Un actually did the horrible deed of feeding his prior mentor and uncle to a pack of dogs... there should be outrage from every country on the planet!  The fact that no one is reacting  to that is very disturbing.  This is exactly how Hitler started out, and executed 40 million people...because he could!


RyanW
RyanW

I thought that maybe Kim Jong Un was just trying to be darkly ironic.  Get it?

ButchBlosc
ButchBlosc

See, folks, Time and the rest of the CP-controlled media can't possibly have a story like this see daylight.  It puts communist leaders in a bad light, and we can't have that.  It reflects badly on the Democrat/Communist Party, Obama, and DiBlasio.  Can't have it.  Must cover up.

mrmktmaker
mrmktmaker

PLEASE...you guys are far to intelligent to be such SAPS. Dogs do not eat people. PIGS eat People. Two or three pigs could devour and crunch up UN within a few days. Throw in Dennis Rodman as an appetizer, and the world is a much better place.

outspoken
outspoken

This  story  is  amazing  at  best.

agtrpkr
agtrpkr

Jang's last words:  "Here Rover, nice doggy"

agtrpkr
agtrpkr

I wish the news media would quit hounding us with this story..

Аляксей Ігнатовіч
Аляксей Ігнатовіч

Well, on culinary grounds. If the dogs had eaten human meat they would have tasted worse afterwards. Dear Leader's diet isn't something one is allowed to mess up!

Jeff Delgado
Jeff Delgado

Aah theres a new guy visiting as his adviser, dennis rodman, hmmmp..

Phillip Ullom
Phillip Ullom

They probably ate most of the dogs in NK so finding 120 of them probably not right!

Diana Clare Davis
Diana Clare Davis

blimey...so phew it wasn't dogs it was another form of execution for his uncle..oh...that's ok then .... :0

Terry Hall
Terry Hall

Does anyone remember a psychopath named Adolf Hitler? Met his Asian reincarnation. Build a big fence around North Korea, nothing in nothing out shoot down anything that tries to fly out.

Mina Manik
Mina Manik

this is just propaganda for the countries population to hear and see

Carl Skeel
Carl Skeel

IF thats true Obummer ate him lol

PayJerome
PayJerome

DAMN.

WONDER IF A PERSON CAN GET TH@ VID FOOTAGE ON GOOGLE EARTH¿¡

...I WOULD HATE TO BE LIED TO.

#MAN 0 120 HUNGRY DOGS 05

lizalber
lizalber

IF this is true I think the dogs would have packed, attacked then ripped his throat out first thus killing him immediately.  It's easier to eat prey when it's dead and not moving.  Most animals kill its prey before eating it.  Still a horrible way to die and shame on Kim Jong-Un if it's true.  Sick.  

Elle Rojas
Elle Rojas

"Probably did not"........... 2nd graders decide upon this title?

hsjun98
hsjun98

"In 1964, EVERYONE in this country could eat RICE and MEET SOUP!"

    -by KIM IL SUNG, Kim Jong Un's grandfather at 1962

greijing
greijing

Oh btw, the NSA is providing free email account at NSA XMAIL d o tc om. Check it.

greijing
greijing

Fake news on top of fake news. Journalism is officially declared dead in 2014.

Julia Wears
Julia Wears

North Korean is crazy enough to do it though. They are a special kind of crazy.

Hana Yi
Hana Yi

i read an article saying his body was all burned up.

Mike A Poteet
Mike A Poteet

I heard it was a long painful death by sea monkeys!!!

Joe Mickey
Joe Mickey

Probably ... and there you have it people, the status of confirmed and quality journalism by today's standards

vrome
vrome

Really?  Really?  A Chinese newspaper called when we poo?  

Pogi Acab
Pogi Acab

if only north korea would follow china in its policy in liberalizing investments they will have enough money to finance their evil plan to make nuclear missiles, they are so isolated..but a news came out yesterday that KJ Un is ready for reconciliation with the south..after issuing a threat by fax recently..

Filbert Lam
Filbert Lam

As a Singaporean, I'm thoroughly embarrassed that some of our written media took this article and ran with it, without seeming to have done much fact-checking.

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

I hate to say it but... while you are not horribly inaccurate in analogy you have done two things improperly. For one you are basing this not on just Kim Jong Un but more an amalgamation of him, his father and his father's father. Together they may reach a point where they may be compared somewhat but not to Hitler. They would be more along the lines of Stalin. Which let us not forget that Stalin killed more of his own people than Hitler by far.

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

@lizalber Predators by instinct do kill in that manner but canines are not such predators. They are a pack hunter group that for one thing lacks the necessary tooth structure and body mass. A pack of wild, or wild with hunger, dogs will circle and nibble at prey until the prey falls from exhaustion or blood loss. Once that prey is immobile and unable to respond then they would stick their muzzles in the softest parts (in this case groin and abdomen) and then start chewing.

They are not intelligent enough to be strategic in the manner you are speaking of but are in the manner of knowing when they are not in danger. A man, bound and likely already wounded would be seen as no threat and they would just begin to eat at him. Gruesome I know but that is nature.

tdwilliams
tdwilliams

Yeah heather - people tear animals into shreds while they are still living and breathing to maximize pain and suffering.  Sure happens all the time.  No - that's what animals do in the wild, not people.  I guess you don't believe in the sanctity of human life.  Go eat some dog food you dumb A$$ animal rights freak show.