North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has made a public reference to the execution of his uncle for the first time in his New Year address. He said the ruling party had become stronger after it was purged of "factional filth."
A Hong Kong newspaper aligned with China's Communist Party is reporting that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's once-powerful uncle was executed by being stripped naked, thrown into a cage, and eaten alive by 120 starved dogs. The report, which has not been independently confirmed, comes after the official North Korean account on December 12 of Jang Song Thaek's execution did not describe the methods for how he was killed. According to the report, five of Jang's closest aids were also executed in this manner, and all were observed by Kim Jong Un, his brother, and 300 other officials during the hour-long process.
"Jang was seen by many experts as a regent behind North Korea's Kim dynasty and a key connection between the hermit nation and its ally China.
In the highly scripted execution, North Korea accused him of "attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state."
Kim's government also accused him of of corruption, womanizing, gambling and taking drugs, and referred to him as "despicable human scum."
Jang was married to Kim's aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il."
NBC News notes that the report "may be a sign of the struggle between those in the party who want to remain engaged with North Korea and those who would like to distance themselves from Kim's regime."