In Brief

Kim Jong-un executes relatives of his 'disgraced' uncle Jang

Report says children and grandchildren slaughtered as despot moves to obliterate 'any trace' of his uncle

KIM JONG-UN has continued his bloody purge of North Korea's political elite by executing the relatives of his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, a South Korean news agency says.

Jang was executed in December last year, four days after being found guilty of treason and leading a decadent Western lifestyle. In the days and weeks following his killing, all his direct relatives including "children, brothers and grandchildren" were slaughtered on the direct orders of Kim Jong-un, the Yonhap news agency reports.

An unnamed source told Yonhap: "Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek. All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children."

Some of the relatives who resisted arrest were "shot to death by pistol in front of other people" as they were dragged out of their homes, another source said.

Among the relatives who were killed were Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun and her husband, Jon Yong-jin, the ambassador to Cuba. Another senior diplomat, Jang Yong-chol, the ambassador to Malaysia and a nephew of Jang, was also executed. It is understood the diplomats were killed shortly after being recalled to Pyongyang in early December.

Some of Jang's relatives by marriage, including the wife of the ambassador to Malaysia, have been "spared from executions and sent to remote villages along with their maiden families", Yonhap reports.

The killings ensure that "no trace" of Jang remains, Yonhap says.

The Daily Telegraph points out that Yonhap has been wrong on North Korean news in the past, but says "recent events" in the pariah state suggest the latest story is true. Both of the ambassadors allegedly executed were "spotted en-route to North Korea after being recalled from their overseas diplomatic postings in the wake of Jang's purge in early December", the paper says.

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