UK & World News

  • 1 January 2014, 21:03

Kim Jong-Un: Uncle's Killing Removed 'Filth'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has hailed the elimination of "factional filth" after the execution of his uncle last month.

In his New Year message, broadcast on state television, Mr Kim said: "Our party took resolute action to remove ... scum elements within the party last year."

He accused General Jang Song-Thaek, who was once considered the second most powerful individual in the North, of trying to build his own power base within the ruling party.

"Our party's timely, accurate decision to purge the anti-party, anti-revolutionary elements helped greatly cement solidarity within our party," Mr Kim said.

General Jang's death was announced by state news agency KCNA on December 13.

Branding him a "traitor" it said General Jang had been executed after a special military trial for committing such a "hideous crime as 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".

South Korean media said they believed he was killed by machine gun, a relatively common form of execution in the North.

General Jang, who was seen as vital in helping Mr Kim secure power after the death of his father, had earlier been removed from regime posts because of allegations of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanising, and generally leading a "dissolute and depraved life".

He was shown being dragged from his seat at a meeting and arrested on state TV shortly before his execution was announced.

Mr Kim also used his New Year message to warn that another war on the peninsula would prompt a "massive nuclear disaster" and the US would not be safe.

"We are faced with a dangerous situation in which a small, accidental military clash can lead to an all-out war," he said.

South Korea worries instability in the North Korean regime could lead to attacks on the South. The two countries are still technically at war after the Korean War ended in a 1953 armistice.

Last week, Pyongyang sent Seoul a fax warning of a "merciless" strike after effigies of the North Korean leader and his father were set on fire by crowds in the South.

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