North Korea accuses Kim Jong-Un's uncle of corruption

North Korea accuses Kim Jong-Un's uncle of corruption

North Korea today confirmed that the powerful uncle of the nation's young leader Kim Jong-Un has been purged, accusing him of building a rival power base and being a corrupt, drug-using womaniser.

Jang Song-Thaek, once seen as his nephew's mentor and the power behind the throne, has been stripped of all his posts for committing criminal acts and leading a "counter-revolutionary faction", state media said.

Analysts said that Jang's main role had been to ensure a smooth transition after the inexperienced Kim Jong-Un succeeded his father in 2011, and that he had become increasingly resented by the leader, who is around 30 years old.

"Jong-Un has built a solid power base for the past two years, and he no longer needed a regent who appeared to be increasingly powerful and threatening," said Paik Hak-Soon, a researcher at the South's Sejong Institute think tank.

Confirmation of his downfall came after South Korea's spy agency said last week that Jang had been purged and two associates executed, in the secretive nation's biggest political upheaval since the death of Kim Jong-Il.

State news agency KCNA said that at a meeting on Sunday, a top body of the ruling Workers' Party confirmed it had "eliminated Jang and purged his group, unable to remain an onlooker to its acts any longer".

The regime said it removed Jang and his associates for seeking to build a faction within the party, appointing his followers to top positions in order to serve his own political ambitions.

The KCNA report said Jang "had improper relations with several women and was wined and dined at back parlours of deluxe restaurants", becoming "affected by the capitalist way of living".

"Ideologically sick and extremely idle and easy-going, he used drugs and squandered foreign currency at casinos while he was receiving medical treatment in a foreign country under the care of the party," it said.

Jang was also accused of hindering North Korea's state-run production of iron, fertilisers and vinalon -- a home-grown synthetic fibre -- by selling off resources at cheap prices and "throwing the state financial management system into confusion".

Comments (+)