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North Korea Confirms Kim Jong Un's Powerful Uncle Ousted

North Korea's state media confirmed Jang Song Thaek's ouster saying he was removed from a party meeting Sunday despite rumors since last week.

North Korea Confirms Kim Jong Un's Powerful Uncle Ousted
NK News

North Korea confirms Kim Jong Un has removed his uncle from power accusing him of challenging the country's leadership and even forming a rival faction to the ruler.

"This comes among allegations of corruption, drug use and other anti-state acts. Jang Song Thaek was the country's second most powerful official. Many considered him un's mentor." (Via WXIX)

While rumors abounded last week Kim Jong Un purged his uncle in what's seen as his biggest power play since the new ruler's father died two years ago, the government officially kept quiet until now.

State media made Jang's ouster high drama Monday, even broadcasting his forcible removal from a political party meeting and insisting it only just happened Sunday. Rumors weren't definitively quashed early on Jang was executed. (Via NK News)

"Footage of Mr. Jang has even been removed from a documentary on North Korean state TV. Just look here. On the left is Kim Jong Un's uncle. Here's the leader in the foreground, but then on the right you see the edited pictures. And this is actually done more than once." (Via BBC)

So what are we talking about here? Media outlets' interpretation of the ouster of Kim Jong Un's closest advisor and confidante range from an assertion of the ruler's power to retaliation against genuine rifts among the ruling elite.

Several experts pointed to the uncle and nephew's difference in economic beliefs with Jang wanting the country to make reforms similar to China. (Via ABC)

A researcher in Seoul told The Washington Post this served as a warning against disloyalty.‚Äč “This means Kim Jong Un punishes his political rivals more severely than Kim Jong Il.”