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Date : December 11, 2013
NK Leader's Powerbroker Uncle Ousted
   http://news.yahoo.com/kim-jong-uns-powerbroker-uncle-ousted-associates… [785]
If confirmed, the most significant purge in the North Korean Government has taken place since the power shifted to the hands of Kim Jong-Un. South Korea’s Security Agency reported on Tuesday that Kim Jong-Un’s uncle Jang Song-Thaek, one of the top government officials, has been purged and two other officials executed. Jang Song-Thaek was the vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, the country’s top military body. In addition, his confidantes Ri Yong-Ha and Jang Soo-Kil were publicly executed in mid-November.
Jang Song-Thaek, husband of Kim Jong-Il’s sister, has always been considered the number two in hierarchy and the true power behind Kim Jong-Un. Kim Kyong-Hui, Kim Jong-Il’s sister, is also a powerful figure, a four star general who helped keep the rule over the communist country. However in the past year, she has not been seen in the public spotlight, as she is reportedly very ill. Experts are suspecting that Jang had pushed aggressively for some reforms in the country, since he has been to South Korea as well as China and witnessed many aspects of a capitalist society.
Other analysts also claim that the power struggle between Jang and Cho Ryong-Hae, vice marshal and director of the Korean People’s Army's General Political Department may have caused the ouster. Cho had become close to Kim Jong-Un, as Kim sent Cho to China personally to deliver a letter to China’s new president Xi Jinping. This was not the first time that Jang has fallen out of power. Suspected of corruption in 2004, he went through “re-education” as a laborer, but came back to power quickly and rose to vice chairman of the National Defense Commission in 2010. Various reports have indicated power struggles and Jang’s power becoming weaker. He and other associates had reportedly been found guilty of “anti-party” activity. The regime is continuing to urge strong loyalty to Kim Jong-Un.

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