N.Korea 'Executed Jang Song-taek's Family'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un apparently ordered the executions of the entire family of former eminence grise Jang Song-taek. According to sources on Sunday, Kim ordered even the children to be executed after Jang was put to death in mid-December last year.

Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin, and ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, who is Jang's nephew, were summoned back to Pyongyang in December and then apparently executed by firing squad. Jang Yong-chol's two sons, who are in their mid-20s, were also executed.

The sons, daughters and even grandchildren of Jang's two deceased elder brothers were also executed, eradicating three generations of Jang's direct relatives.

The source said the exact timing is unclear but it seems to have happened after Jang's execution on Dec. 12.

Jang was the third son of a family of three sons and two daughters. His two elder brothers were army generals who died of illness. But Jang had many nephews and nieces.

Another source said If Jang's relatives resisted being dragged off by security agents, they were shot in front of their neighbors. But Jang Yong-chol's wife and other women who married into the Jang family were forced to divorce them and apparently sent into internal exile in remote villages together with their parents and all other family members.

A government official here said, "It appears the purge targeting Jang Song-taek was more far-reaching than we thought, affecting anyone from direct relatives to low-ranking officials."

But an intelligence source here declined to confirm the reports.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 27, 2014 09:54 KST