I'd say things are a little rocky in North Korea these days, but I imagine that's the way they like it. This is a bizarre story to say the least.
The North Korean official publicly purged by Kim Jong-un was set up by his own wife and has since been executed, according to sources and the North Korean state news agency. The state news agency KCNA called Jang Song-thaek, who had been Kim's uncle and top deputy, "despicable human scum" and "worse than a dog" in a release announcing his execution.
Jang's execution was announced as fresh details emerged about Kim's surprising public purging of his uncle from a top position which indicate it was a family affair with his aunt and brother, armed with a pistol, taking part in the arrests of ranking officials.
Analysts who study the secretive regime also fear that the arrest and execution of Jang, the man widely known to have been the real power behind Kim, signals a generational change for North Korea as well as period of upheaval. Jang was arrested this week for corruption, acts of treachery, and womanizing with state TV airing humiliating photographs of him being dragged out of the Party Central Committee meeting by uniformed officers.
Jang had supported a smooth transition of power to a young Kim Jong-un, who was 28 at the time of Kim Jong-il's death in 2011. He is the uncle of Kim and husband of Kim Jong-Il's sister Kim Kyong-hee."What you have to understand is that the North Korean dynasty is run by an absolute blood-based hereditary mindset," pointed out Lee Yun-keol, the president of North Korea Strategic Information Service Center.
Max Fisher writes at the WaPo:
North Korean state media are known for hyperbole, but even so, the official announcement of the execution of Jang Song Thaek is a step beyond. The state-run Korean Central News Agency released a long article detailing the alleged crimes and transgressions of Jang, a longtime senior regime official who was also the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un.
It really must be read to be believed. A typical line asserts, for example, that Jang "behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping, touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people."