North Korean state news agency KCNA has announced that Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong-un and formerly one of his closest advisors, has been executed.
The story appears on the English-language KCNA website under the title “Traitor Jang Song Thaek Executed,” though no further details of the execution are contained in the body of the story.
Rumors that Jang had been purged from the North Korean government began to circulate in the South Korean press earlier this month, and were later confirmed by North Korea. State media has accused him of mismanaging the economy, corruption, womanizing and drug-taking, and he has been airbrushed out of pictures and video footage, Reuters reports.
Jang was the husband of Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong-hui. Before his fall from grace, he was widely considered one of the most powerful people in North Korea, helping the young Kim, still in his 20s, to rule after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
We’ll update this post as we find out more…