World News

North Korea Confirms Purge of Leader's Uncle

North Korea has taken the rare step of publicly purging Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un.

The official Korean Central News Agency said Monday that Jang had been removed from all of his official posts and expelled from the ruling party. The report accused him of several criminal acts, including corruption, womanizing and drug use.

State television aired photos it said showed Jang being escorted out of a Worker's Party meeting by uniformed officers Sunday. The photos show Mr. Kim sitting at the podium of the same meeting.

Nick Bisley, a North Korea analyst at Australia's Latrobe University, says the younger Kim, believed to be about 30 years of age, is decisively striking out on his own.



"I think he's feeling confident. Whether this confidence is a good thing from a longer-run or external point of view is another question. And I think the extent to which he's really severing himself from his father's legacy, so to speak, is potentially disconcerting."



Jang is married to Kim Jong Un's aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il.

VOA Exclusive

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