North Korea says leader's uncle sacked for 'criminal' acts
A South Korean man watches TV news about the alleged dismissal of Jang Song-Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's uncle, at a railway station in Seoul on December 3, 2013
Jang Song-Thaek, seen as the regent to the young Kim, was relieved of all posts and titles for allegedly building a power base to challenge the leadership of the communist state, the North's state media said.
South Korea's spy agency said last week that Jang had apparently been purged and two associates executed, in what would be the biggest shake-up since Kim came to power in December 2011 after the death of his father.
After a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee on Sunday, the ruling Workers' Party confirmed that it had "eliminated Jang and purged his group, unable to remain an onlooker to its acts any longer", a report of the gathering carried on KCNA said.
In a stark warning to detractors, the regime said it removed Jang and his associates for seeking to build a faction within Kim Jong-Un's party, appointing his followers to the party ranks to serve his own political ambitions.
"The Jang Song-Thaek group... committed such anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts as gnawing at the unity and cohesion of the party," the Workers' Party report said, according to KCNA.
It sought to paint Jang, married to the sister of Kim's father, Kim Jong-Il, as a depraved, corruption-addled drug-user who had "improper relations" with women and gambled in overseas casinos after becoming "affected by the capitalist way of living".
"Jang pretended to uphold the party and leader but was engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams and involving himself in double-dealing behind the scene," the report said.
"Prompted by his politically motivated ambition, he tried to increase his force and build his base.... Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution."
The report accused him of a litany of other misdemeanours including hindering North Korea's state-run iron and fertiliser industries by selling off its resources at cheap prices and "throwing the state financial management system into confusion".
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