Kim Jong-Un’s ruling of North Korea has long been questioned in regard to a handful of extreme incidents and the killing of his Uncle last week, raises more concerns about the state of the Asian country.
The once powerful General Jang Song-Thaek was hanged on Thursday 12th December after being branded a ‘traitor’ by the state’s news agency, KCNA.
General Jang was executed shortly after a military trial on the grounds of committing ‘hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state’.
According to the KCNA, the man who was once considered the second most powerful official in the North was ‘worse than a dog’.
The full statement read: “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.”
South Korean media said they believed he was killed by machine gun; a relatively common form of execution in the North.
The announcement came days after Pyongyang said that Gen Jang had been removed from all his posts because of allegations of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanising, generally leading a ‘dissolute and depraved life’ and ‘dreaming different dreams’.
Gen Jang had been believed to be helping North Korea’s current leader, Kim Jong-Un settle into his position as Supreme Leader following the death of his father two years prior.
Gen Jang had earlier been stripped of all posts and titles, after the regime had accused him of corruption.
State TV this week showed photos of Gen Jang being dragged out of his seat at a meeting by two officers, in an extremely rare public humiliation of a figure who was then demonised as a drug-taking womaniser.
Gen Jang was the latest and most significant in a series of personnel reshuffles that Mr Kim conducted in an apparent effort to bolster his power.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said: “If this is confirmed, it is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime.”
Whilst a Foreign Office spokesman added: “We are concerned at reports of the execution of Jang Song-Thaek and oppose the use of the death penalty in any and all cases worldwide. We are monitoring the situation in North Korea closely in consultation with allies.”