Friday, 13 December 2013

Shock and Awe

Picture of Jang Song-thak at his military tribunal after which he was executed
We are shocked to read about the demise of Jang Song-thaek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Jang was reported executed for treason after a military trial in which he was found guilt of treason.

The military tribunal described the 67-year-old as "despicable human scum who was worse than a dog who perpetuated cursed acts of treachery".

During the trial, Jang, who is married to Kim Jong-un's aunt, was reported by Korean Central News Agency as saying that he attempted to stage a coup d'etat by mobilizing his associates in the military.

"I attempted to stir up complaints among the people and the military that even as the country's economic situation and people's livelihood are in dire situation, the current regime fails to deal with it," he was quoted as saying.

Jang's downfall was apparent earlier this week
On Monday there were images of Jang being pulled out of his chair by uniformed officers at a meeting in Pyongyang. At the time KCNA also accused Jang of taking drugs and squandering money at casinos while having medical treatment abroad.

The news agency added he also had "improper relations with several women and was wined and dined in the back parlours of deluxe restaurants".

KCNA continued the narrative of the coup, saying Jang bided his time when he was under Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, but now "he began to reveal his true colours, thinking that it was just the time for him to realize his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced," it said.'

The swift death of Jang is Kim Jong-un's bid to consolidate his power and to set his uncle as an example of what happens to people allegedly convicted as traitors to the state.

The news is shocking to everyone in the region, particularly South Korea, but also China, which depended on Jang as a dependable liaison. But now he's literally gone and Beijing is further losing its influence that the United States hoped could help ease tensions.

But now things are thrown into further disarray and it'll take a while for the dust to settle before we figure out what's really going on in the hermit kingdom...


  1. If you're shocked, whither the North Koreans? I'm sure quite a few people in are quaking in their boots there... but I also wonder if this will cow them or make some people decide they had better rise up and rebel, or at least defect!

    1. HI YTSL -- yes it's an effective scare tactic... people there are so run down and now reportedly on crystal meth that it's practically impossible for them to rise up. Defecting is dangerous and you can be shot on the spot. China also does defectors no favours in sending them back to North Korea...