N.Korea Confirms Ouster of Jang Song-taek

      December 09, 2013 10:15

      North Korea confirmed Monday morning that leader Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek, widely seen as the eminence grise of the regime, has been dismissed from all posts.

      The [North] Korean Central News Agency said Jang challenged the country's leadership and tried to organize his own faction.

      "Jang pretended to uphold the party and leader but was engrossed in factional acts and dreaming different dreams… That was why the party eliminated Jang and purged his group, unable to look on any longer," it said.

      Unlike the original footage (top) aired last October, the re-run last week shows only a glimpse of Jang Song-taek while his face is obscured by other figures.

      Earlier, Korean Central Television broadcast documentary footage on Saturday that had been altered to remove any images of Jang. The film was a re-run featuring Kim Jong-un at a military base and has been aired on KCTV nine times since Oct. 7.

      But in the latest screening Jang, then a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, had been conspicuously removed.

      A comparison shows that he has been cut out of around a dozen scenes by either zooming in on others or cutting out scenes containing him entirely and replacing them with different footage.

      In one scene where Kim speaks into the ear of Air Force chief Ri Byong-chol, Jang was seen clapping in the background, but the new edit shows only his legs while his face is obscured by other figures.

      And in another scene at a banquet on July 27, Kim was seen shaking hands with a war veteran while Jang looked on from behind, but the shot has been replaced.

      Pak Nam-gi, the director of the Workers Party's Planning and Finance Department who was executed in 2010 over the botched currency reform, was also later removed from all documentary footage.

      The North has yet to remove photographs and articles featuring Jang from the state-run daily Rodong Sinmun.

      Meanwhile, Saenuri Party lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun told reporters on Sunday that Jang and his wife Kim Kyong-hui, who is Kim Jong-un's aunt, "appear to have separated."

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