North Korea’s deputy leader forcibly took out from meeting : worldleaks
North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un threw out his uncle and de facto deputy for abuse of power, corruption and gambling away foreign currency, in the highest- profile purge since Mr Kim took power two years ago.
Jang Song Thaek was caught by the arms by two military officers and removed from a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang yesterday, according to a photo released today through North Korean television and obtained by Yonhap News Agency.
Mr Jang was stripped of all his posts and expelled from the party at the Politburo meeting, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said earlier today.
Mr Jang “desperately brought to form a faction within the party by creating an illusion about him,” KCNA said, days after South Korea said it suspected his ouster and that two of his aides had been executed.
The purge of a man who helped engineer the transfer of leadership to Kim from his father Kim Jong Il opens the door to a power shake-up in a country that has focused on building nuclear arms.
Mr Jang also led an economic delegation to China last year as North Korea struggles to revive its economy. “North Korea will undergo volatility for some time before Kim fills the holes left empty by the purge,” Yang Moo Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said.
“The message delivered today is clear. North Korea does not and will not grant a number two leader.”
Mr Jang, who married Kim Jong Un’s aunt Kim Kyong Hui in 1972, was appointed as a vice chairman of the national defense commission, the highest seat of power in Pyongyang, just months before longtime ruler Kim Jong Il died in December 2010.
A four- star general, Mr Jang walked right behind the new leader during a funeral procession for Kim Jong Il that illustrated the power line-up in the secretive regime.
The nation’s former de facto number two was “affected by the capitalist way of living,” as well as being “ideologically sick and extremely idle and easy-going,” KCNA said.
Mr Jang sold off state resources cheaply, had “improper relations” with several women, and was wined and fed at back parlours, KCNA said. He used drugs and squandered foreign currency at casinos while receiving medical treatment overseas, it said. “These are crimes serious enough to cost the lives of the whole family and their closest kin had he not been related to the leader,” Mr Yang said.
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