The ruthless dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, was reportedly “very drunk” when he gave the execution order to kill two close aides of his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek. Kim was “upset” that the two aides questioned his decision to turn over a business to the military and said that they should check with “Director Jang” first.
Shortly after the aides’ execution, Kim’s Uncle Jang was removed from his high ranking leadership position and executed for “anti-state” crimes. He played a crucial role in transferring power from the father, Kim Jong-Il, to Kim Jong-Un following the former dictator’s death.
Jang was accused at a military tribunal of having his own political interests and that he had engaged in drug activity, womanizing, and gambling. Subsequently, a South Korean online media outlet reported that many of Jang’s family and friends had been arrested as a result of “guilt by association.”
Jang’s aides, Ri Ryong-Ha and Jang Su-Gil, were among the first well known North Korean figures to be killed in a high profile house cleaning detail by Kim. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported, “Those who were close [to the two aides] were surprised by their execution, and made phone calls to their friends living abroad, and the South Korean government [spy agency] wiretapped their phone conversations.”
One researcher in Seoul, South Korea told the Washington Post on Wednesday that Jang Song-Thaek being put to death “means Kim Jong-un punishes his political rivals more severely than Kim Jong-il.” The fact that Kim Jong-Un executes those who were previously close to him should come as no surprise to anyone. In August, the North Korean supreme leader reportedly ordered the execution of his ex-girlfriend by firing squad.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye characterized the recent events that have taken place in North Korea as a “grave and unpredictable situation.”