North Korean state television showed Jang Song Thaek, the ousted uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, being forcibly removed by uniformed personnel from a meeting as it reported on the ruling Workers’ Party politburo assembly that took place on Sunday.
The regime rarely publishes images of high-level political arrests and has not done so since the 1970s.
North Korean state news agency KCNA said Jang, the second most powerful man in the country, had been dismissed for what it described as a slew of criminal acts. “Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution,” KCNA said, without saying if Jang had been detained or charged with any crime. He has been accused of being “affected by the capitalist way of living” as reported by the independant news site nknews.org and handed charges that include corruption, factionalism, drug abuse, anti-state activities and womanizing. Most importantly, he has been accused of trying to get rid of Kim Jong Un “in association with China”.
Kim’s uncle has also been airbrushed out of pictures and video footage and experts said his name was no longer searchable on the KCNA database.
South Korean intelligence services had announced his removal nearly a week ago.