SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 14, 2013

NKorea executes leader's uncle as a traitor

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea said yesterday that it has executed Kim Jong Un’s uncle, calling the leader’s former mentor a traitor who tried to seize power and overthrow the state.

The stunning announcement came only days after Jang Song Thaek — long considered the country’s No. 2 power — was removed from all his posts because of a long list of allegations, including corruption, drug use, gambling and womanizing.

In an unusually detailed announcement, the official news agency KCNA said Jang had been tried for “such 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.”

It called him a “traitor to the nation for all ages” and “worse than a dog.”

Kim Jong Un has overseen other high-profile purges since taking over after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, two years ago. But none of the purges have been as public — or as close to home — as the downfall of Jang, who was seen as helping the younger Kim consolidate power.

Analysts have said that Kim Jong Un has acted swiftly and ruthlessly to bolster his own power and show strength, but there has been fear in Seoul that the removal of Jang and his followers could lead to instability or lead to a miscalculation or attack on the South. Jang had been seen by outsiders as the leading supporter of Chinese-style economic reforms.

North Korea has recently turned to attempts at diplomacy with South Korea and the United States. But tensions have remained high since Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Seoul and Washington last spring, and warned that it would restart nuclear bomb fuel production.

There was no immediate word about the fate of Jang’s wife, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il. She was also seen as a key mentor to Kim Jong Un after her brother’s December 2011 death.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Salem's Collins seeks longer day

    SALEM -- Collins Middle School may look a little different next year. For starters, longtime Principal Mary Manning, who has headed the school for more than 20 years, is retiring and will be replaced by a new, yet-unnamed principal. More than that, t

    April 19, 2014 6 Stories

  • 140418_SN_KYU_WALK_2 Walking the Walk BEVERLY -- Four hundred thirty walkers, 10.5 miles and $65,000. Those are the numbers you can count on just about every year from the Good Friday Walk. The 35th annual walk produced those figures once again yesterday, with the money going to help nee

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Marblehead chief charts drop in crime MARBLEHEAD -- Police chief Robert Picariello has highlighted an overall drop in crime from 2012 to 2013 in his annual report to the town. The decrease was substantial in the category of crimes against persons, down 23 percent for incidents like rape,

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • One-way school bus passes to get trial run in Peabody PEABODY -- Students will be able to ride the school bus one way next year without paying the price of a round-trip fare. The School Committee has agreed to offer one-way passes on a trial basis following review of transportation data and a proposal f

    April 19, 2014