SEOUL – North Korea has executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong-un after a shock purge, state media said on Friday.
Jang Song-thaek was executed on Thursday immediately after a special military trial, state news agency KCNA reported.
He committed 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", it said.
Jang, 67, played a key role in cementing the leadership of Kim when he succeeded his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
The KCNA report portrayed Jang as decadent and corrupt, attempting to dominate national affairs by "stretching his tentacles" into ministries and institutions.
North Korea confirmed earlier this week that Jang, who was married to Kim Jong-il's sister, had been stripped of all posts, and branded him as a drug-using womaniser who squandered millions in state funds at foreign casinos.
During the court questioning, Jang reportedly confessed he attempted to stage a coup by mobilising his associates in the military.
"I was going to stage the coup by using army officers who had close ties with me or by mobilising armed forces under the control of my confidants," KCNA quoted him as saying.— AFP